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Darwin's BardsBritish and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution$
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John Holmes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748639403

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639403.001.0001

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(p.260) Conclusion
Darwin's Bards

John Holmes

Edinburgh University Press

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

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