Zoomorphism

Zoomorphism describes how non-human animal traits are given to humans, events and forces. It is much less common than anthropomorphism and more often than not this technique is found in stories and books. But, it appears in poetry as well. Take a look at The Skunkby Seamus Heaney as an example. In this poem, he compares his wife to a single, mysterious, and yet ordinary, skunk that passes by his veranda.

And there she was, the intent and glamorous,

Ordinary, mysterious skunk,

Mythologized, demythologized,

Snuffing the boards five feet beyond me.

 

It all came back to me last night, stirred

By the sootfall of your things at bedtime,

Your head-down, tail-up hunt in a bottom drawer

For the black plunge-line nightdress.

In the final stanza the images of the wife and skunk are fully merged and he imagines both, together as one creature, searching through the drawers of their bedroom.

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Synonyms:
zoomorphic
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