“Of heat and work—stoppage, Earth in its Orbit” (Incidents of Scattering, 30)
On October 10th, 1858, George Phillips Bond would be the first human to photograph a comet.
That same year, Robert Virchow proclaims, standing upon the shoulders of those who came before him, “Omnis cellula e cellula” (every cell originates from another existing cell like it).
At just about this same time, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace are announcing to the world their theories of evolution and natural selection.
The second law of thermodynamics had been formulated just ten years earlier and had still not yet given way to entropy by 1860.
It was within this scientific climate that John Tyndall, a physicist and magnetism expert, would publish The Glaciers of the Alps, Being Narrative of Excursions and Ascents, And An Account of the Physical Principals to Which They Are Related. The title serves as a wonderful synopsis; the book was written by Tyndall as he himself trecked and calculated through the Alpine Mountains. It is this work that Karen Lepri’s debut book of poetry, Incidents of Scattering, “takes a deep breath from.” Tyndall’s work on the fundamental forces of air, heat, and light stood (and continues to stand) unparalleled on the planet earth.
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