[Milton-L] The TeaM: Natural selection

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 02:10:51 EDT 2011

Ma chi riguarda come il buon cultore
I vizi curi dell’inferme piante,
E de l’egra natura in lor corregga
Vari difetti e gli trasmuti in meglio,
Di curar se medesmo apprenda il modo.

_____Torquato Tasso, Il Mondo Creato 3.1303-1307

He who notices how the good grower
Treats the flaws of diseased plants,
How he mends the several defects
In their nature, them changing for the better,
Can learn the way to mend himself.

The way Tasso “notices the good grower” is the same as Charles Darwin
would do, as a starting point to his theory of natural selection (tho’
the poet is rather interested in the “development of the self”, v.
1337 etc.). See also MC 3.1345-1349:
Non sol mille maniere e mille forme
D’arbori fanno i frutti in mille guise,
Ma in una sorte istessa, e ’n una parte
Molta varietà s’osserva e mira
Di color, di figura o pur di sesso.

Not only do thousand kinds and forms
Of trees yield fruits in thousand ways,
But within one species, in one area,
Much variety is to be seen and watched
As for color or shape or even sex.

More information about the Milton-L mailing list