Celebrate National Poetry Month by viewing this work of 2400 rhyming couplets by Erasmus.
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ERASMUS DARWIN (1731-1802) The botanic garden; A poem, in two parts. Part I. Containing The economy of vegetation. Part II. The loves of the plants. Printed for J. Johnson 1791 Part I, [2nd ed.]; Part II, 3rd ed. Pt. I: xii, 214, 126  pp., 10 plates (1 fold. (front.)); Pt. II:  ix, 197 pp., 10 plates (front.). 27.3 cm.
One of Darwin’s many interests was botany and he established a small botanic garden at his residence in Lichfield both for the study of plants and to grow his own medicinal herbs. The present poetic work resulted from this interest and brought him immediate fame as a poet. The economy of vegetation first appeared in 1791 and was in reality an introduction to and course of instruction in a broad range of scientific and technological subjects. Its 2400 lines of rhyming couplets are explained in a lengthy series of explanatory footnotes. The loves of the plants was published first in 1789, and presented an allegorical account of the Linnean system of plant classification and explained in verse how the various classes of plants are fertilized.
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