Category Archives: Poetry

Did you ever see such a sight in your life?

Winslow Homer, 1858, engraving, Eventful History of Three Little Mice“Three blind mice/ see how they run/ they all ran after the farmer’s wife/ who cut off their tails with a carving knife…” A horrifying image dressed in a child’s verse. The English it seems gave the German Brothers Grimm a run for their money. This familiar nursery rhyme was allegedly scribbled in honor of Her Royal Highness, Queen Mary I, who also happens to be called Bloody Mary because she had an unquenchable thirst for the blood of Protestants; she, the “farmer’s wife,” who so generously had three noblemen—the eponymous mice—burned at the stake rather than their eyes poked out.

Taken out of context of 16th century England in which they originated, the unseeing mice today are but a trio of unfortunate tiny rodents, without sight and without tails. And the ambiguity of the lyrics leaves us speculating about the sequence of events—whether the mice were running after or running away from their mutilator when she slashed their tails. The celebrated poet Billy Collins, however, turns our attention to an even more pertinent question: why were the mice blind in the first place? The former Poet Laureate guesses at the answers as empathy sneaks up on him, sneaks into the lines of his “I Chop Some Parsley While Listening to Art Blakey’s Version of ‘Three Blind Mice’”:

…If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
…the thought of them without eyes

and now without tails to trail through the moist grass


or slip around the corner of a baseboard

has the cynic who always lounges within me

up off his couch and at the window

trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion

which might account for the wet stinging

in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard’s

mournful trumpet on “Blue Moon,”

which happens to be the next cut,

cannot be said to be making matters any better.[1]

But long before the three blind mice softened a cynic’s heart, America’s greatest nineteenth century painter got caught up in the nursery rhyme as well. In his early years as an artist, Winslow Homer earned his keep as a commercial illustrator. In 1858, a Boston publisher hired Homer to contribute seventeen illustrations to a children’s book. Titled Eventful History of Three Little Mice and How They Became Blind, it could almost be read as a direct response to the question Collin’s would one day pose. And like Collins, Homer and the tale’s anonymous author treat the mice sympathetically, showing us that their lamentable fate wasn’t because they were naughty but because they were mice simply being mice—in the pantry of the farmer’s wife looking for food.




[1] Billy Collins, “I Chop Some Parsley While Listening to Art Blakey’s Version of ‘Three Blind Mice,’” (excerpted), Picnic, Lightning, 1998.

Additional sources: Maurice Sendak, “Introduction” in Eventful History of Three Little Mice and How They Became Blind, 1996 edition, Oxford University Press; Garth Stein, “Billy Collins’s ‘I Chop Some Parsley….’,” Shambhala Sun, July 2010, p. 96.

(Image: Winslow Homer, from Eventful History of Three Little Mice and How They Became Blind, 1858, hand colored engraving, publisher: E. O. Libby & Co., Boston, Massachusetts.)



A mouse is miracle enough

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, Draft in Earliest NotebookI am the poet of little things…
Of each gnat in the air, and of
     beetles rolling balls of dung,
Afar in the sky was a nest
And my soul flew thither, and 
     squat, and looked out,
And saw the journeywork of
     suns and systems of suns,
And that a leaf of grass is
     not less than they
And that the pismire is equally 
     perfect, and all grains of 
     sand, and every egg of the
     wren …
And the cow crunching with 
     depressed neck surpasses every 
And pictures great and small crowd the rail-fence, and hang on its
     heaped stones and elder and poke-weed.
I am the poet of Equality.
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger trillions of infidels.

Neither the gnat nor the beetles made the final cut, at least within these two verses, while the poke-weed, the elder and the stones sprung up on pages before and after. But the mouse who could stagger a million million infidels remained here it seems in every single draft. These were the earliest extant scribblings of lines that appear in Leaves of Grass, America’s most famous poem by America’s most influential poet.

“Song of Myself,” originally untitled, was Walt Whitman’s propulsive meditation, an extension of who he was as the country’s idealized self. In an undated notebook prior to 1855 the power of nature over art, revealed in the small and the humble and the oft neglected, that Walt Whitman felt was unwavering as evinced in the revisions he made to the work; the mouse was not just able to stagger a handful of non-believers but trillions of them, and in the published poem this tiny creature would go on to astound more than sextillion.

Whitman was, according to scholars, a constant tinkerer of every single word, every single image; he scrambled the lines, “substantively” we’re told, as if they were leaves of grass blown by the wind—so much so that even as Leaves of Grass was being typeset in 1855, he was making last minute changes.[1] Between 1855 and 1881 he revised Leaves of Grass over and over; the Civil War too transformed his thoughts about purpose as a writer and transformed his book, which ultimately resulted in six consecutively thicker editions.

This, his final version, which do you prefer?

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars,
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren
And the cow crunching with depressed head surpasses any statue,
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels



[1] Kenneth Price, Ed Folsom, Re-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work, Wiley, 2005.

Additional sources: Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: His Original Edition, with an Introduction by Malcolm Cowley, ed., Penguin, 1976; The Walt Whitman Archive.

(Image: Page 83 of Notebook #80, Library of Congress, reprinted for non-commercial use from the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Fall 2002.)

The Hidden Snare

Frank Bartolozzi, after Bunbury,   The Mouse's Peitition, 1791Like Robert Burn’s “To a Mouse,” Anna Letitia Barbauld’s poem “The Mouse’s Petition” was in the form of a supplication. Only this time man wasn’t imploring mouse, mouse was imploring man; and as such, compassion shown for animals had entered a new territory. The year was 1773.

At the heart of the poem is a mouse who’s been trapped to become the subject of a certain Dr. Priestley. The mouse pleads for his freedom:

OH ! hear a pensive captive’s prayer,
For liberty that sighs;
And never let thine heart be shut
Against the prisoner’s cries.

His appeal continues on a high note of desperation that’s left others since to reconstruct the story behind it with an equal degree of distress. First the facts: Joseph Priestley in 1700s England was a leading political thinker as well as a scientist. He was credited for the discovery of an air-like substance that we know today as oxygen—but not before he used live mice in experiments with deadly gases. Meanwhile Barbauld, according to William McCarthy’s biography, considered Dr. Priestley and his wife to be her second family.

One evening the poet, who was often a guest in the Priestley home, witnessed a mouse caught in one of the doctor’s live traps. Since it was already nighttime, Priestley’s servant took the mouse to the lab where the small rodent was destined to sit in a cage till the following day. When the doctor entered the lab the next morning he found the mouse with a rolled-up piece of paper stuck in between the cage’s metal bars. On the sheet was written none other than “The Mouse’s Petition” with the pointed inscription “To Doctor Priestley.”

For here forlorn and sad I sit,
Within the wiry grate;
And tremble at th’ approaching morn,
Which brings impending fate.
If e’er thy breast with freedom glow’d,
And spurn’d a tyrant’s chain,
Let not thy strong oppressive force
A free-born mouse detain.

The good doctor, it was reported, set the mouse free.

Upon publication the deceptively sweet poem found its many fans. “The Mouse’s Petition” was critically received and applauded for its condemnation of animal experimentation by the same people who were finding their voices to courageously speak out against animal cruelty and for the rights of animals. As a ‘petition’ the poem, they viewed, could be none other than a political text. It accorded the mouse a consciousness and basically asked: What gives humans the right to have dominion over another creature?

That, however, was not the end of the story. Stirring the pot, Barbauld tossed in a pinch of doubt with the third edition of her poem a year later. She went it seems out of her way to separate herself from her reviewers. She wrote in a note that accompanied the poem’s new publication: The Author is concerned to find, that what was intended as the petition of mercy against justice, has been construed as the plea of humanity against cruelty. She is certain that cruelty could never be apprehended from the Gentleman to whom this is addressed; and the poor animal would have suffered more as a victim of domestic economy [i.e., in a mouse trap], than of philosophical curiosity.

Scholars on the right have taken her coda at face value, embracing the mouse’s plight as a mere metaphor for a number of injustices prevalent in the poet’s Georgian society, while critics on the left, then and now, have stood by the verse’s literal interpretation. McCarthy, who spent twenty years researching Barbauld’s life and her works, argues that there really is no ambiguity when it comes to the poem’s meaning, that the poet’s intention is clear. Barbauld, unusually highly educated for a young woman at that time, had a teasing relationship with Priestley and would often enter into a lively discussion about his actions “from the stance of alternative ethics.”[1] The note she attached to the poem’s new edition was nothing more than a realization she had, with her friend, regrettably gone too far.


[1] William McCarthy, Anna Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.

Additional sources: Jerom Murch, Mrs. Barbauld and Her Contemporaries, London, 1877; Kathryn Ready, “‘What then, poor Beastie!’: Gender, Politics, and Animal Experimentation in Anna Barbauld’s ‘The Mouse’s Petition,’” Eighteenth-Century Life, Winter 2004.

(Image: The Mouse’s Petition, etching and stipple, print made by Francesco Bartolozzi, Henry William Bunbury, 1791, The British Museum, reproduced for non-commercial use only.)

“Act like a subject, since you’re not the sultan!”

Rumi The Camel and the Mouse1A mouse finds himself entangled in the tether of a camel, and as the camel begins to move forward, the mouse suddenly thinks that it is he who is driving the beast; he thinks, I’m a mouse of a special kind. The camel has a hunch that his tiny new companion has gained an inflated opinion of his strength. He tells him, Amuse yourself, I’ll sort you out. They then come to a deep river; the mouse freezes in his tracks. The camel says to him, Why are you at a loss?/Step forward like a brave man—walk across!/Great mouse, my guide and leader, don’t stop here/And give up. There is nothing now to fear. The two animals discuss the water’s depth. While the camel shows the mouse it only reaches to his knees, the mouse reminds the camel, A dragon for me is an ant to you. In other words, if the water comes to the camel’s knees, it’s already far above the rodent’s head. The camel sees this as a teaching moment. He tells the mouse, Don’t be so bold again/Or else you’ll burn with soul-tormenting pain! He’s on a roll, Compete with your own species, and beware/You’ve nothing that a camel wants to share. The mouse begs his forgiveness and begs for a ride. Help me to make it to the other side! The camel feels a sense of compassion, Jump!/Climb on my back, then rest upon my hump./This is not difficult for me to do/I could take millions of small mice like you!

“The Camel and the Mouse” is a tale from Rumi, the celebrated thirteenth-century Persian poet, teacher, theologian and Sufi mystic. And like Aesop and the Panchatantra‘s anonymous author, Rumi saw in animals’ true nature, lessons to guide his fellow Sufis along their mystical path toward their ‘union with God’ and utter ‘knowledge of reality.’ The mouse’s lesson in humility and dozens and dozens of other fables appear in his impossibly long, twenty-six-thousand-verse-poem the Masnavi. Its plain title, translated to mean nothing more than a straightforward description of the work’s structure, its ‘rhyming couplet,’ belies the fact that it’s considered the ‘greatest mystical poem ever written.’ Rumi marinates each anecdote in his own words of wisdom and advice. The mouse’s conceit enables the poet to admonish: Act like a subject, since you’re not the sultan!/Don’t row the boat when you are not the boatman/…God said, ‘Keep silent!’ so don’t you forget./Be all ears since you’re not God’s mouthpiece yet!”



Sources: Lines from The Masnavi (Book Two) by Rumi, translated by Jawid Mojaddedi, Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford University Press, 2008;

(Image: A mouse, clutching the reins of a camel, at a stream of water, ink and pigments on thin laid paper, folio from an illuminated manuscript of Rumi’s Masnavi, scribe unknown, circa 1663, the Walters Art Museum, reproduced for non-commercial use only.)

“Walt, Ben/See you again”

In the early 1950s, a great American poet penned a poem for a great American artist. The story goes: The poet, sitting in the artist’s studio, was tired of sitting still, posing for his portrait. So he took a break, picked up a sheet of Maillol paper and a pen, and jotted down a handful of lines. The end result was “The End of the Rope,” in which he paid tribute to “Walt and Ben.”  The last lines read: Let’s say we’ve a little unraveled/the end of the rope/and go on from there.   Walt, Ben/See you again   Some day     , signed by its author William Carlos W      s, edited by a mouse.

William Carlos Williams and Ben Shahn first met on June tenth, 1950, when Williams and his wife visited the Shahns in Roosevelt, New Jersey, after the poet had received a doctor of letters degree from nearby Rutgers University. Both men, New Jerseyans, had championed in their art an intellectual understanding of their state’s historical significance, the narrative of its industry and its workers: Shahn had made a mural, depicting the story of Jersey Homesteads—with its roots in the New Deal, the small town (now known as Roosevelt) was founded in 1936 as a resettlement for immigrant families who had worked in New York City’s sweat shops; Williams, the medical doctor-cum-poet, wrote his five-book epic poem Paterson—once said to be Whitman’s America for the twentieth century—using the Jersey city as a symbol for modern man. So it was only fitting that on that summer day, with Williams having just completed Book Four, Shahn gave him a painting he had made of a factory building and tracks and titled Homage to Paterson. This, the start of their friendship. In Paterson’s Book Five, Williams would again mention Ben Shahn’s name within lines of his poetry.

Shahn was a singular artist who triumphantly melded together social realism with abstract design and mastered photography—working along side Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. He was also a gifted engraver. Apprenticed at age fourteen to a lithographer, he fell in love with the Roman alphabet and found “the wonderful interrelationships, the rhythm of line as letter moves into letter.”[1] In 1963, he sat and admired “The End of the Rope” in Williams’s “scrappy” hand. He wrote, “I often wonder how many poets write in longhand… One might surmise that verse written to the staccato clack-clack of the typewriter might differ enormously from that written in the noiseless and rhythmic movements of the hand.”[2]

Meanwhile a mouse had discovered Williams’s piece of poetry. Sometime between the poem’s birth and its reemergence a dozen years later, a mouse had resided in Shahn’s house. When Shahn took out from storage the exquisite artist’s paper with the poem, to have it reproduced in his Love and Joy About Letters, he saw the verse had been slightly revised. The mouse had nibbled away at the page, chewing to bits Williams’s “Williams” and, it’s been speculated, the last word of the last line See you again   Some day “soon.”


[1] Ben Shahn, Love and Joy About Letters, 1963.

[2] Ibid.

Additional sources: “William Carlos Williams, 1883-1963,” Poetry Foundation; William Carlos Williams and Christopher MacGowan, “The End of the Rope,” The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, Vol. 2: 1939-1962, reprinted 1991; Paul Mariani, William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked, 1990; Frances K. Pohl with Ben Shahn’s Writings, Ben Shahn, 1993; Howard Greenfield, Ben Shahn: An Artist’s Life, 1998; “Oral history interview with Ben Shahn, 1964 April 14,” Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Ben Shahn, Museum of Modern Art.

(Image, click to enlarge: “The End of the Rope” by William Carlos Williams for Ben Shahn, Love and Joy About Letters, 1963, reproduced for non-commercial use only.)

“There by the banks and in armour bright”

A gentle mouse prince is sitting lakeside, dipping his whiskers in the water, when a frog introduces himself. He tells the mouse that he’s the king; he sings the praises of his people, how they can play in water as well as dance on land. He invites the mouse to his home on the other side of the lake. The mouse reminds the frog king he is a mouse and it’s much too far for him to swim. The king says, hop on my back, I’ll give you a ride. As the waves rush over him, soaking his fur, the mouse begins to have regrets. And no sooner does he think to tell the frog king he wants to go back to the shore than they spot a mutual foe, a water snake. The frog immediately dives down into the water’s depths to escape, thoughtlessly forgetting his small guest desperately clinging to his shoulders. The mouse prince loses his grip; he struggles in vain. From the edge of the lake, his brother has been taking in the scene and shrieks the details to his nibbling clan. The mice nation says there is no question, they must avenge their prince’s death; they arm themselves with shields made from the skin of a cat and don helmets made from nutshells. They send a message to the frogs to prepare for battle. When Zeus, the god of gods and man and mice and frogs, gets wind of the upcoming war, he asks Athena to aid the mice since they are known to dance in her temple. She says, no, she’s had enough of their mischief, spoiling her wreathes, chewing holes in her sacred robes. As for the frogs, she says she won’t help them either. She’s still bitter about the time she returned home, ‘spent with glorious toil,’ and they kept her awake with their noisy babbling. So from the heavens the Olympians watch the battle. The mice are winning—they’re pummeling their amphibian foes; their hero Meridarpax, pride of his sire, and glory of his house/And more a Mars in combat than a mouse, boasts he will single-handedly vanquish the entire kingdom of frogs. It rouses Zeus to intercede. Feeling sorry for the frogs, he can no longer stomach watching them perish; he sends in an army of crabs to turn the war around, forcing the mice to retreat.

O’er the wild waste with headlong flight they go,
Or creep conceal’d in vaulted holes below.

This is the story recounted in the epic poem Batrachomyomachia, or “The Battle of Frogs and Mice.”[1] It comes out of ancient Greece and although once attributed to Homer, it is said to be instead a mock re-creation of the poet’s Iliad. It has neither the intention to mock the original nor the desire to teach a lesson; it’s just “a harmless tale about animals, with no relevance to human society,” one scholar asserts.[2] “An innocent joke” that is presumed to have been written sometime around the birth of Christ, its author unknown.


[1] The painting shown above of the imagined battle is the work of an obscure British artist, a certain Henry Bright (1824-1876) who should not to be confused with the slightly less obscure landscape painter Henry Bright (1810?-1873) of the Norwich School. The work’s original title in all likelihood was “There by the banks and in armour bright,” as listed by the Royal Academy. See Frederic Gordon Roe, “Henry Bright,” Walker’s Quarterly, 1920.

[2] Ulrich Broich, The Eighteenth-century Mock-heroic Poem, translated by Henry David Wilson, 1990.

Batrachomyomachia translated by Thomas Parnell (1679-1718).

(Image: The Batrachomyomachia by H. Bright, watercolor and pencil on paper, 21 x 35 inches, 1871, reproduced for non-commercial use only.)

Laden with Cares

The house cemented their friendship. Or perhaps it was the mouse.

In 1954, the Pulitzer prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke, recently married, rented the house of Morris Graves. Roethke had just accepted a teaching position at the University of Washington, and through various social gatherings and a number of mutual acquaintances, he and his wife Beatrice were introduced to the region’s most famous ‘mystic’ painter.

Graves had called his house, north of Seattle, Careläden; the umlaut was his—the artist anointed the name with the same ‘dramatic’ flair with which he embraced life. Situated on dozens of acres, forested with old growth cedars and maples, Careläden—the diacritical mark regardless—had for Graves been a load of cares. Reportedly the costs, the time, and the labor it took to erect the place had weighed down the painter; Graves himself had leveled the land and pitched in to help with the construction. The house was one of the first to have been built straight out of cinder blocks; the inside, ‘graciously proportioned,’ was completely of wood that Graves and his companion, Richard Svare, ‘rubbed with lye and waxed by hand.’ W.H. Auden, Roethke’s close friend, said it was the ‘most beautiful’ house built in America.

Roethke and Beatrice were thrilled to lease Careläden when, in an angry response to the chainsaws and bulldozers ripping up the earth nearby, suburbia creeping, Graves took off to Ireland. The time seemed to have been idyllic for the poet who suffered from occasional bouts of depression. People would remember Roethke sitting out on the lawn, with a clipboard on his lap, drinking tea. The couple kept a goose and named her Marianne, after the poet Marianne Moore. In the fall the mice moved in. One evening Roethke was writing at his desk when a mouse ran across his foot. In a knee jerk reaction, he clobbered the mouse, clobbered the mouse again, killing him. According to the biographer Allan Seager, Roethke ran to his wife to be comforted, “tears streaming down his face.” As if in reparation, when he later found a baby mouse—His absurd whiskers sticking out like a cartoon-mouse/His feet like small leaves—in the grass, he picked him up and put him in a box; he fed him cheese and gave him water. And he penned “The Meadow Mouse.”

But this morning the shoe-box house on the back porch is empty.
Where has he gone, my meadow mouse,
My thumb of a child that nuzzled in my palm?—
To run under the hawk’s wing,

Under the eye of the great owl watching from the elm-tree,
To live by courtesy of the shrike, the snake, the tom-cat.

All things innocent, hapless, forsaken.[1]

I can’t help thinking Roethke must have written Graves in Ireland about the mouse in their house; Graves drew a small rodent in crayon on brown paper; it’s dated 1954.


[1] Theodore Roethke, “The Meadow Mouse,” second verse, The Far Field, 1965, winner of the National Book Award, published posthumously.

Sources: Allan Seager, The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke, 1991; Linda Robinson Walker, “Theodore Roethke, Michigan’s Poet,” Michigan Today, Summer 2001; Sheila Farr, “The House that Morris Graves Built,” Seattle Times Magazine, 2001; Deloris Tarzan Ament, Iridescent Light: The Emergence of Northwest Art, 2002; Deloris Tarzan Ament, “Morris Graves (1910-2001),” February 15, 2003.

(Image Mouse by Morris Graves, Crayon on brown paper, 3 x 4 inches, 1954, reproduced for non-commercial use only.)

A Poet and His Mouse

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy![1] 

Scotland’s most famous and beloved poet Robert Burns was a farmer. That was how he initially eked out a living—he was the oldest of seven children of a tenant farmer; he grew up poor. In 1785, right before winter, he was plowing his land when his blade rendered a tiny rodent homeless. So when he got home, he took out his pen and wrote down eight verses, addressing the mouse. He filled each line with deep regret as well as with a keen understanding of the creature’s life: her need to forage and sometimes steal his grain; her need to build a home before ‘the bleak December winds’ swept across the fields. “To a Mouse, On Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” became perhaps Burns’s best-known work, next to his song “Auld Lang Syne.”

Fast-forward two and a quarter centuries: Alloway, Scotland in 2010. The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum was under construction, almost completed. Its caretaker, the National Trust for Scotland, had launched a competition to find an artist who could create a public work of art, to celebrate the poet, that would be situated on the walkway of the new museum. The contemporary Scottish sculptor Kenny Hunter received the commission; he had already established his name around the globe with large works of animals and people and skeletons that have been labeled ‘anti-monuments.’ The artist has noted his sculptures “look as if they have just popped out of a machine or a Kellogg’s cornflake packet—yet they are monumentalised and subversive.”[2] For the winning work Hunter chose to pay homage to none other than Burns’s mouse, a seven-foot bronze that he titled Monument to a Mouse. In an interview, he said, shortly after hearing his proposal had been selected “my cat deposited a dead field mouse outside my door just before bedtime. It’s a common thing for cats to do of course, but the mouse was in just the right pose and unusually for my cat she had left it perfectly intact. So I put it in the freezer and took it to the studio in the morning to begin work on the model. It helped tremendously in developing the form that my monumental mouse would take.”[3]

Ironic, I’m thinking, that the tribute to the poet and his mouse was inspired by a mouse who had died. It surely would have given Burns pause. According to the literary scholar and historian, Harvard University Professor, Emeritus David Perkins, in late eighteenth-century England people were starting to show a greater kindness toward animals—Romanticism’s ideals of nature spilling over. But these attitudes were changing slowly, and the writings often included appeals to “God’s love for his creatures” and pigeonholed the poor as the ones who were brutal. In that, Perkins points out, Burns was unique.[4] The ‘Peasant-Poet’—as he was called in his day—neither invoked God nor displayed a moment of heartlessness in his lines of the farmer.

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

[1] Burns’s poem “To a Mouse” in its entirety, with links for translation:

[2] Press release, Conner Contemporary Art, 2002.

[3] National Trust for Scotland, “Monumental mouse for Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, June 7, 2010.

[4] David Perkins, Romanticism and Animal Rights, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

(Image: Monument to a Mouse by Kenny Hunter, on the grounds of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; through August 12, 2012, a smaller sculpture of the mouse, made in acrylic resin, is being shown in the Royal Academy of Art’s summer show in London.)