Kári Driscoll | Second Glance at the Panther, or: What Does It Mean to Read Zoopoetically?

Written by on June 3rd, 2018 // Filed under 31.1 Animal Studies


This essay conducts a zoopoetic reading of Rainer Maria Rilke’s iconic poem “Der Panther.” It proceeds in three stages: first, I show how the text itself is zoopoetic, that is, projects a model of poiesis that proceeds via embodied animality. Second, I show how it implicates the reader in the zoopoetic process. In this way zoopoetics becomes not only a mode of artistic production but also one of reception. Finally, I reflect on what it means to read zoopoetically in the age of the Anthropocene.