Heaven in a Wild Flower

Auguries of Innocence

BY WILLIAM BLAKE
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole Nation sell & buy
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons
The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out
To be in a Passion you Good may Do
But no Good if a Passion is in you
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate
The Harlots cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse
Dance before dead Englands Hearse
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day
I think this poem is marvelous! In Linnaeus’s gardens, when looking at the flowers, I was reminded of this poem. How interesting is it that Linnaeus and Blake both saw entire worlds in a single flower… Blake, the romantic poet, had a mystical imagination. Linnaeus, the scientist, saw the need to classify an ever growing world and the need for classification to be consistent; all the way from one’s backyard to a place across the globe.
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The Linnaeus Garden in Uppsala

This was a really fun place to visit in Uppsala, Sweden! I was in Stockholm on a family vacation, and we took an easy train ride to Uppsala and spent the afternoon wandering around Linnaeus’s beautiful garden and house. Having written a paper on taxonomy and featuring Linnaeus, I was delighted to see where Linnaeus did his work! If you ever visit Stockholm or Uppsala, definitely put this on your list!

Check them out: https://www.botan.uu.se/our-gardens/the-linnaeus-garden/

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Carl Linnaeus’s lily pond 🐸 
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Who knew flowers were hairy!? #AdvertisementForTheiPhone8Camera
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This clock shows the times different flowers open over the course of a day. Supposedly if you memorize this, you can accurately tell what time it is by looking at the flowers in Linnaeus’s garden. The flowers are that specific! 
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I LOVE FLOWERS 🌺 !

The Darwin Manuscripts Project

We all learn about Charles Darwin and evolution in our ninth grade biology class… But how did Darwin actually come up with these theories? What experiments did he do? Who did he talk to? Well, for an answer, his own notes and manuscripts would be a good place to start.

There’s only one small problem: Darwin’s manuscripts are all out of order. Each piece of paper is a different size. Darwin’s handwriting is unreadable by most people. Darwin uses a bizarre shorthand to take notes which takes months to learn to read. Darwin does not index his notes.

So… what can you do? Well, you can check the Darwin Manuscripts Project Database! The DMP is a group of people behind the scenes at the American Museum of Natural History, working to turn Darwin’s manuscripts into a database that anyone can use. The DMP takes Darwin’s notes, types them up (including mistakes and things that have been crossed out), includes images and drawings, and then creates tags so people can search across the database.

Here is their webpage: https://www.amnh.org/our-research/darwin-manuscripts-project/

I worked with DMP this summer. Most of their staff and volunteers are college students, young professionals, or museum staff… So, bringing my perspective as a high school student was really fun. It’s a really cool project, super useful for students as well as scholars! Check them out!

[Letter, Charles R. Darwin to John Burdon-Sanderson, March 21, 1
Here Darwin’s handwriting is readable 😂 

The Wild Bird Fund: September = migration time…

It’s a quiet, lazy, hot day… Suddenly there’s a loud bang and something hits your window. Looking outside, there’s a bird, stunned, laying on the ground. What do you do?! Who do you call? What can you do?

Well, if you walk up Columbus Avenue to 88th street, you will come upon a curious looking store front… There are many pigeons, white and gray, flying around a pretty enclosure in the window. There are chickens running around the store front. There’s a turtle drifting around in the other window.

This is the Wild Bird Fund (https://www.wildbirdfund.org)!

The Wild Bird Fund is a non-for-profit, completely volunteer and donation run, rehabilitation center for injured birds. The Wild Bird Fund is the only wildlife rehabilitation center in New York City. WBF aims to provide medical care to wildlife, and try to release the animals back into the wild. WBF also runs programs to educate New Yorkers about the wildlife living in our “cement” backyard.

I help out at the front desk, taking in patients, accepting donations, and encouraging New Yorkers to talk about WBF to their friends. The WBF staff and volunteers are a really important part of the community, and demonstrates how New York City’s humans can take responsibility for the non-human community we share our city with. It’s a really great group of people!

This year, especially now in September, the Wild Bird Fund is busier than ever. Many different species are passing through New York on their journeys elsewhere, and many native birds still need help. If you can, please consider making a donation! Anything and everything helps. Thank you so much!! This is the link to donate to WBF: https://wbf.z2systems.com/np/clients/wbf/donation.jsp.

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Here are some seagulls and ducks 🦆 that have been brought to the Wild Bird Fund. Aquatic birds need to be able to fly and swim, so they get an extra area to practice. 
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Whitney the turtle !
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Chickens , Hay Hay and a friend! At Wild Bird Fund, we name the birds who cannot be released, and will be adopted or will live at a sanctuary. We don’t give names to the birds who can be released, because we do not want them to get used to nicknames, human voices, cooing, or cuddling. They’re better off if they don’t like us!