How to Make Up an Animal Poem

Poems about animals are often powerful because they help readers see a creature in a new, intriguing way. The toughest thing about making up an animal poem is choosing the animal, or animals, on which to concentrate. The second trickiest part is knowing how to start. While you may choose a flying squirrel, a black panther or your pet turtle, begin by seeing the picture of the animal in your mind and then researching the animal or observing it first-hand.


    • 1
      Describe the long, svelte body and spotted fur of the cheetah.
      Describe the long, svelte body and spotted fur of the cheetah.

      Choose an animal you would like to describe. Pick an animal that has physical and behavioral qualities you find interesting. For instance, a cheetah, spotted and fast, is a captivating mammal. Or, choose a number of animals to begin with and then whittle the animal list down to one.

    • 2

      Start with a physical description. Jot down a few physical characteristics about the animal, such as its fur, skin, eyes, tail, neck, teeth or ears. For example, if your animal is the elephant, note the gray leathery skin, the soft eyelashes above dark eyes, the hair-tipped tail, circular feet and large floppy ears.

    • 3
      Choose a feature of the animal, such as how it drinks water or bathes.
      Choose a feature of the animal, such as how it drinks water or bathes.

      Add observations of the animal. If you are lucky enough to get to see the animal in action at a zoo or if you have the animal as a pet, make observations about how the animal moves, sleeps, eats, communicates and interacts with other animals and you. If you observe a rabbit, notice how it leaps and stands on its haunches, sleeps in a ball, munches tufts of grass, squeaks to communicate with other rabbits and bunnies and wiggles its nose when you pet it.

    • 4
      A floating alligator, or other reptile, is an ideal specimen to study and describe.
      A floating alligator, or other reptile, is an ideal specimen to study and describe.

      Start with an image. Every first line in a poem produces some sort of picture in the reader's mind. For example, you may begin the poem very simply by writing "The alligator floating in the muddy water intrigues me." You can later revise this, or keep it as it is.

    • 5

      Mix in descriptions and actions. Make sure to fill your poem with verbs as well as adjectives. Imagine the exact images you see when you think of the animal, or how you recently saw the animal. Let the first images you see, and the impressions you have, guide your writing. Use the physical, behavioral and observational notes to punctuate the images in your poem.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using fancy vocabulary or trying to think of a magnificent, never-before-heard description; your individual viewpoint is better than any academic approach.
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