The Darwin Poems

By Emily Ballou

Vivid, musical, sensuous and strong. - Adam Thorpe. This collection, while loosely following Charles Darwin's life, is more a 'portrait' in verse of his inner and family life. 2009 is the bicentenary of Darwin's birth and there are huge celebrations planned across the world, including in Australia, where Darwin passed at the end of his Beagle journey. In 1836, a twenty-six year old Charles Darwin stopped at Wentworth Falls en route to Bathurst, during the Beagle's short stay in Australia. The walk Darwin took through the bush, along the creek to the falls, is the same one the poet now takes, with its plaque fastened to a rock: 'Charles Darwin passed this way'. This was a young Darwin, his observations on the Beagle allowing his ideas on the origins of the species to first gestate; a highly sensitive man who loved Paradise Lost and Wordsworth's Prelude; keenly aware that geological forces of time were 'truly poetical', carrying a flower painter's colour samples around with him so that he might better describe his own collections; a man in love with the mysteries of the world, who believed that science and poetry were, after all, but a series of philosophical riddles to solve. This book isn't alienating poetry for a small esoteric club, but is accessible in the spirit of Dorothy Porter's books. It is a most charming and exquisite set of poems: passionate and curious.


231 pages

Publication Date: 4/15/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781921401275