Darwin on Poetry

“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”-Charles Darwin

The Drawbridge by Vincent van Gogh, 1888

The Drawbridge by Vincent van Gogh, 1888. I’d add “look at beautiful things as often as possible” to the list.

17 thoughts on “Darwin on Poetry

  1. I like this quote but wonder how he would have managed the ‘listen to music’ as he lived before the days of recording. Perhaps some members of his household could play or sing.


    • Musical performances, both in the public and private spheres, were incredibly commonplace during his time. Indeed, playing and singing were must-have accomplishments for most people of certain means (especially women). Just because music was not recorded, doesn’t mean that people did not regularly and easily enjoy it. 🙂


    • Methinks Darwin was way too busy to spend time in such relaxing pursuits, and this admission was a lament of the fact that he had to sacrifice everyday joys for his work. It is a great reminder for us to slow down!


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