The Human Animal : Biological Tropes in Interwar Poetry. / Armstrong, Tim.

Science in Modern Poetry: New directions. ed. / John Holmes. Liverpool : Liverpool University Press, 2012. p. 101-115.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



This essay examines the influence of new biological thinking on poetry between the wars. That thinking is characterized by, firstly, a greater emphasis on the interactions of the biochemical and neurological systems, derived from the study of hormones, proteins and their role; secondly, a shift from a strictly mechanist sense of bodily engineering ( associated with Loeb, Beard and others) to a more holistic approach which stresses the interaction of the organism’s genetic makeup and environment within an evolutionary, homeostatic perspectives. The essay focuses on three representative areas: endocrinology; social entomology and the life of insects; and neoteny and evolutionary thinking. Poets considered include John Rodker, Herbert Read, William Empson and W. H. Auden.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience in Modern Poetry: New directions
EditorsJohn Holmes
Place of PublicationLiverpool
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-84631-809-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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