Uncle Charlie fell ill with a dyspeptic violence


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.
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3 thoughts on “Uncle Charlie fell ill with a dyspeptic violence

    • Thank you very much. This piece is important to me in a variety of ways and, of course, I wonder if it would resonate with anyone else. I appreciate you reading with a discerning eye and very much appreciate the kind words

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