cience and poetry are not things that usually go together. Some would say that they are two totally seperate ideas that cannot be reconciled. Those ‘some’ would be wrong.
Erasmus Darwin, painted by Joseph Wright (1770)
Meet Erasmus Darwin. He was the grandfather of the undeniably more recognized Darwin, Charles. He was also one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the early 1800′s, whose passion for reason was reflected in his poetry. Poetry that reflected not just the analysis of the world which was being undertaken in his time, but also the sheer glory and beauty of the world and the awesome power of discovery. He incorporated scripture and mythology into his works while discussing astronomy, biology, geology, anatomy, psychology, and many more, and often more than one at the same time. He was what would be considered a controversial thinker today, one that discussed evolution before it was known as evolution, and commented on anatomy before dissections were widely accepted. He valued reason and discovery and logic, but one thing that he did not see value in separating the study of humans (or the world) from the humanities.
In short, he’s a cool guy.
So today we have a selection of his poetry, taken from his book The Temple of Nature published in 1803, a year after he died.