John Holmes

in Darwin's Bards

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639403
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652174 | DOI:

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  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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This chapter presents ‘Kew Gardens’ by the contemporary Scottish poet D. M. Black, a poem which captures both the need for a source of meaning that transcends scientific materialism and the potential for poetry to provide that meaning, without withholding assent from science itself. Black's relationship with Ian Black and his science in this poem can stand for the wider relationship between poets and poetry on the one side and Charles Darwin and Darwinism on the other. Black leaves it unresolved whether his sense of beauty goes beyond Darwinism, as he suggests at first, or whether it is itself a product of it. It is apt that Black and George Meredith should put their trust in hearing over sight, as poetry is above all an aural medium.

Keywords: D. M. Black; Kew Gardens; Charles Darwin; Darwinism; George Meredith

Chapter.  1311 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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