Poetry, Science, Insects

I have been beginning my day by dipping into a daily reading of naturalist Donald Culross Peattie from the collection An Almanac for Moderns (1935 rpt 1980). The conclusion to the entry I read today with its theme of poetry and science is striking:

I accept the challenge of the artists that cool investigation may often be the death of poetry. As knowledge lessons the terror of plague, so it may take some of the soulfulness out of nature. There is a sort of Wordsworthian sermonizing that shrinks before the biological frame of mind, just as the childish abhorrence of insects vanishes with familiarity. But not all poetry is really good poetry (however good it may sound). Good poetry is swift-winged, essential and truthful description — and so is good science.

I like the image of overcoming fear of insects by a biological turn of mind. One can no doubt imagine many other cases where an inquiring frame of mind does likewise.

And so for day 2807

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