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Science in Modern PoetryNew Directions$
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John Holmes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318092

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317743

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date: 26 September 2018

The Human Animal: Biological Tropes in Interwar Poetry

The Human Animal: Biological Tropes in Interwar Poetry

(p.101) Chapter 6 The Human Animal: Biological Tropes in Interwar Poetry
Science in Modern Poetry

Tim Armstrong

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses how the major advances in endocrinology, entomology and evolutionary biology during the interwar years of the early 1900s influenced the works of the English poets, Herbert Read, William Empson, W.H. Auden and John Rodker. It suggests that the most significant implication of biology on these modernist poets was a sense of the human as falling away into the animal and, at the same time, sparked a renewed interest in human emotion and behavior in an expanded chemical and environmental context.

Keywords:   interwar poetry, Herbert Read, William Empson, W.H. Auden, John Rodker, endocrinology, entomology, evolutionary biology

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