The literary canon has been built, generation to generation, in gazing back at those who gave voice to the voiceless. To understand our selves, our present, and our future requires us to adopt Emerson's transparent eyeball; we must step out of ourselves and assess where we--individually and collectively--have been, in order to see where we are going.
Mason Cooley aphorized, "Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." Pet Poems likewise offers fragments of what has (and what might have) been in worlds not unlike our own. It is a collection of contemporary parables, snapshots of moments running beneath our legs and draped across our laps. More, its narrative offers storytellers just as fragmented as the memories of its audience; truth rests in ethos of the pets' innocence, in their ability to commune but not share.
This book is a delight in its humble suggestion that humans have a responsibility to listen. That we must, upon finishing the collection, not just be human but also be humane. We must allow nostalgia, consider good byes, and pay attention. The words, no longer hidden, are of dogs and cats, squirrels, birds, and mysterious unknowns. And the words work to remind us that the tiniest life, dependent on the communities we build, tear, and restore, rest on the obsession of the right to be and the right to become.