Bestiary, what on earth is that? A bestiary is a poem where personification flourishes in an animal or inanimate object. There will be a little allegory. Morals are usually super important also in the poem of this kind. So here are two words that may be unfamiliar and that is personification and allegory.
Personification is taking an animal in a poem or other works, like a a goat and making the goat have human qualities like Mr. Goat said to the clerk behind the counter, ” I have miles to climb today, I better buy a bottle of water for the trip.”
Allegory, in this case, would be a poem with a meaning that is somehow hiding within the poem. Such as Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” which is about our simple perception of things. Then seeing beyond that simple perception and being informed by those knowing beyond simple perception, and informing those of the perception beyond the simple perception that you might see. The moral is tougher to understand than the story which is why we have allegory to explain such things, make sense!
Almost 500 years AD after Jesus died on the cross, the middle ages began and the bestiary was very popular.
The Lion King in a way could be seen as a type of bestiary, a story, using beast or animals to convey a moral message. So hear I will attempt a poem and create a bestiary.
The Hummingbird and The Seahorse
In a doctor’s office a hummingbird and a seahorse
were waiting to see the doctor and they started up a conversation.
“How do you fly with no wings,” asked the hummingbird
looking around the seahorse for some kind of feather extensions from it’s body.
” My wings are the water,” said the seahorse.
“I don’t understand,” said the hummingbird.
“Well, said the seahorse.
” Right now I move by the muscles in my tail,
but unlike you, I can only move along the ground
whereas you can soar up in the sky
and reach the flowers on the tops of trees.
When I go back into the sea,
after my check up, I don’t have to just stay on the seafloor,
the water allows me to swim whereever I want to.
It’s like there are thousands of invisible wings
that hold me up in the water to help me swim along.
“How come you know this and I don’t” said the hummingbird.
” Because” said the seahorse, ” existing first, sometimes allows for greater knowledge and for people to easily forget.
That’s why it is advantageous to be fifteen minutes early for anything.
The knowledge you gain in that fifteen minutes
can be the difference that sets you apart from the crowd
and ensures your success, not always but it’s a good start.
” Why are you here,” asked the seahorse?
“To get checked out to ride up on the spaceship, why are you here may I ask?”
“To get a set of wings!”
So there is a loose example of a bestiary. Just simply pick your animal or animals, could be one, two, five, or many as in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. Then think about the moral story you want to convey, and think about the way in which you want to bring the story across. Moral being some sort of message you would like to get across to humanity that you might think is important to pass along. Play around with different scenarios until you find something you like. Thank you for reading. Happy writing! Slainte!
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