In 1858, Charles Darwin corresponded with a budding young naturalist and adventurer named Alfred Russel Wallace. Although Darwin was famous for his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, he had yet to publish his ever lengthening treatise on evolution. Wallace, unaware of the extent of Darwin’s views, solicited Darwin’s assistance on his own evolutionary theory, which was remarkably similar in depth and detail. Concerned that Wallace might preempt him, Darwin’s closest confidants arranged for a joint presentation of their theories before the Linnaean Society.
The brief poem that follows reflects my interpretation of that moment.
Leading is a lonely life. Exudation and upheaval, before the type is set. But first--and fierce-- the prize of pride, do so many tumble for her. Then the meta-moment: owning up to self, but that pride is found alone in upheaval.