Excerpt Tuesday – The Darkling Thrush – Hardy


This excerpt of the “The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy (1840 – 1928) is paired with an amazing photograph taken by my friend, Dr. Jenna Eun, of colonies of the bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor. This bacterial species is responsible for making the chemical compounds that give dirt that “earthy” smell. Species of this genus are also responsible for making many of the antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections in people today. You can read the entire verse of “The Darkling Thrush” here. Photograph by Dr. Jenna Eun, composition by me.


    1. Thank you so much! When I wear my “science history hat” I think about how there were no antibiotics when Hardy wrote this poem, and how infectious disease was likely a very real part of the trepidation he felt for the future, and now we are in fear of such things once again, our supply of antibiotics rapidly being exhausted.

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