Friday, 11 September 2009

Darwin, Science and other...

I believe it is approaching the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origins of Species. Many people have argued over Mr D.'s findings. Many have quoted him or the bible to justify their points. Here I present a poem that I wrote following an exhibition at my local museum in Plymouth, UK, which displayed pickled marine specimens collected by Victorian natural historians. I'd be interested to know what people think, feel free to comment or contact me.

Reflections On A Collection of Pickled Specimens

Part 1
Men of affairs, scientists, gentlemen collectors,
Researchers, technicians, plankton detectors.
Ladies, when permitted, provided manful help
Wading shorelines intrepidly for variegated kelp.

Knowing their names, seeking their protection.
Categorised, specified, a literal dissection.
Must each specimen elders plucked, and carefully selected,
be hidden forever, politically corrected?

Part 2
Bewhiskered men off charted shores their Science to be applied.
From blindest depths defy stern jaws to reveal a great divide.
Thus predate all faith - shift their cores – expecting the spring tide.
Dead-eyed and soaked, lost in each jar. Pickled in formaldehyde.

Forgotten lives compressed and bizarre
pinned on Time's lantern-slide.
Gentlemen? Killers? The choice is yours,
Think well before you decide.


  1. Just tripped down your blog. A great read. I like the way you think! -Jayne

  2. Thanks for your too have an interesting thing going on at your blog. I enjoyed your artwork about "apples in mouths"...I'm always making a pig of myself at the table!