Darwin's Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution

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Edinburgh University Press, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
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This is a comprehensive study of Darwin's Legacy for religion, ecology and the arts. In Darwin's Bards John Holmes argues that poetry can have a profound impact on how we think and feel about the human condition in a Darwinian world. Including over 50 complete poems and substantial extracts from several more, Holmes shows how poets from Tennyson and Browning, through Hardy and Frost, to Ted Hughes, Pattiann Rogers and Edwin Morgan have responded to the discovery of evolution. Written for scientists, philosophers and ecologists, as well as poets, critics and students of literature, Darwin's Bards is a timely intervention into the heated debates over Darwin's legacy for religion, ecology and the arts. The book will appeal to readers for its discussion of the existential implications of Darwinism, for its close readings of poetry, and for the reprinted poems themselves.

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About the author (2009)

John Holmes is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Reading

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