Kay Ryan Poems

Kay Ryan is an American poet who was born in 1945 in California. She is regarded as one of the most important contemporary poets. Her books of poetry include Flamingo Watching and The Best of It: New and Selected Poems. The latter was published in 2010 and won Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.


by Kay Ryan

‘Bestiary’ by Kay Ryan is a short, cynical, and witty free verse poem in which the speaker explores the differences between what is good and what is best.

'Bestiary' by Kay Ryan is one of her best-known works, but it pales in comparison to the reliability and emotional appeal of some of her other poems, such as 'Turtle.' However, this poem is more of an introduction that explains the importance of all of Ryan's animal-centered poems, which she deems as her own "best" works.

A bestiary catalogs

bests. The mediocres

both higher and lower

are suppressed in favor

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