“How can literary imagination help us engage with the lives of other animals? Mark Payne seeks to answer this question by exploring the relationship between humans and other animals in writings from antiquity to the present. Ranging from ancient Greek poets to modernists like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, Payne considers how writers have used verse to communicate the experience of animal suffering, created analogies between human and animal societies, and imagined the kind of knowledge that would be possible if humans could see themselves as animals see them. The Animal Part also argues that close reading must remain a central practice of literary study if posthumanism is to articulate its own prehistory. Offering detailed accounts of the tenuousness of the idea of the human in ancient literature and philosophy, Payne demonstrates that only through fine-grained literary interpretation can we recover the poetic thinking about animals that has always existed alongside philosophical constructions of the human. In sum, The Animal Part marks a breakthrough in animal studies and offers a significant contribution to comparative poetics”.