The Nomenclature of Small Things explores grief through the language of science, history, and art. From Charles Darwin to Carl Linnaeus, from the passenger pigeon to fossil ammonites, each poem seeks to name, to enumerate, to orderto claim a particular place for the human creature in a catalog of extinction and loss.
About the Author
LYNN PEDERSEN’S poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including New England Review, Ecotone, Southern Poetry Review, Borderlands, and Other Countries: Poets Rewiring History. She is the author of two chapbooks, Tiktaalik, Adieu and Theories of Rain. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Table of Contents
Catalog I The Infinite Density of Grief • The Birth of Superstition • Nomenclature: The First Day • Miscarriage • Eve Paints the Apple Tree • The Sterility of Numbers • How to Speak Nineteenth Century • A Catalog of What We’re Not Meant to See • The Rift • Isaac Newton Waits Out the Plague • Wilson’s Warbler • The Mier Expedition: The Drawing of the Black Bean by Frederic Remington (1896) • How to Move Away • Something About Darwin Catalog II. Begin • After Seven Months, Alaskans Begin to Bury Their Dead • A Brief History of the Passenger Pigeon • Pre-Op • Taxonomy:Taxidermy • Correction • Platypus:Hoax • Decay • Found Poem: Sir Hamon L’Estrange Gives the Only Documented Account of a Living Dodo in Britain, 1638 • What the Frog’s Eye Tells the Frog’s Brain • Pond • Hangman • I Hate Darwin • Horse Latitudes • Grief and Geometry • Primer • What Is Still, What Is Moving Catalog III. The Classification of Impermanence • The Second Son • Braids • Ballast • Still Life • My Grandmother Peels Apples for Sauce • Why We Speak English • The Quick of Things • Selling Skies at the Soho Bazaar, 1790 • At Forty • Darwin’s Twin Sister • Sugar in Space • On Reading About the Illness and Death of Darwin’s Daughter Annie • A Way with Words • Dickinsonia