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Poetry & Mathematics

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What a nice article, Mashinka. A quote:

The best known is The Loves of the Plants, by Erasmus Darwin, who in 1791 set out in verse an account of the sexual habits of the vegetable world. He used heroic couplets, in which the rhyme pattern is AA, BB, CC and so on (for the sensitive plant, for example, he wrote that "Weak with nice sense the chaste Mimosa stands,/ From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands;/ Oft as light clouds o'erpass the summer glade,/ Alarm'd she trembles at the moving shade"). Byron, a rather better poet, liked the form ABABABCC and in his epic Don Juan even manages to squeeze in a mention of Newton ("And this is the sole mortal who could grapple/ Since Adam, with a fall or with an apple.")

Jones somehow missed this:

Coy Nature, (which remain'd, though aged grown,

A Beauteous virgin still, injoy'd by none,

Nor seen unveil'd by any one)

When Harveys violent passion she did see,

Began to tremble, and to flee,

Took Sanctuary like Daphne in a tree:

There Daphnes lover stop't, and thought it much

The very Leaves of her to touch,

But Harvey our Apollo, stopt not so,

Into the Bark, and root he after her did goe: 10

No smallest Fibres of a Plant,

For which the eiebeams Point doth sharpness want,

His passage after her withstood.

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