Published on Academy of American Poets (

Animal / Anima

all of us     all but us     only

(but not us) the mammals     or only

us: animal in us     or only

the male of us:     brute


no animals     in the Bible

only beasts     as  of the field

not us:     it says    breathed

into     in our image     of the dust


anima breath     to anima

soul     but all animals

breathe the     same     one

long song     the same     air


Copyright © 2015 by Martha Collins. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“‘Animal / Anima’ is one of a number of similar poems that appear throughout my book Admit One: An American Scrapbook, to be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2016. Beginning with the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and highlighting other dates, events, and places (including the Bronx Zoo) that extend into and beyond the 1920s, the book addresses racism, eugenics, immigration, and other related issues through a collage of documentary materials and lyrical explorations.”
Martha Collins


Martha Collins

Martha Collins was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1940.

Date Published: 2015-02-04

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