The Animal Within
Author: Katherine Yets
Publisher: Unsolicited Press (2021)
The Animal Within is filled with poems that want to swim together, focusing on animal and human nature. A few are ekphrastic, based on photography by Jaimie Huycke and Dennis Liddell. Dive in and readers find a world where horses speak their minds, crawdaddies sing, and mermaids find love. Wolves howl "ahwoo at the full strawberry harvest moon in June," and birds do more than flap their wings, but rather create a voice for the oppressed. Humans step in, personas based off the author, and consider loss, depression, and love—inner-self mixed with creature habits—scratching down a lover's back or crying in a zoo. One persona connects with water, skinny-dipping her way into a galaxy reflection, "as quiet as you would expect it to be [she] sends a ripple through the moon." Hawaiian Goddesses tell their story about how the Yoni Crater came to be with a crash. Nature takes note and gets noticed, exploring transcendental and organic aspects. "The stream has no objection" as the poet takes liberty in playing with ideas of what it might be saying. A divine devotion to creatures large and small- flora and fauna finding a voice among calm and chaos, depending on the scene created. Each poem cups a piece of life- ideas not too far fetched—mundane and supernatural. With sounds all around, the author uses anaphora, alliteration, assonance, and other devices to give these animals and personas personality of their own. This chapbook implores readers to take a hiatus, step outside of themselves, and experience the animal within.