Impressions from a Lost World: The Discovery of Dinosaur Footprints

Geological Poems, American Journal of Science, Vol. V, 1822

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Three poems were printed in Volume 5 of the American Journal of Science. In his introduction, Benjamin Silliman expressed ambivalence about printing poetry in a scientific journal, but in the end decided that their pedagogical value was sound. "A Geological Geognosy," "Granitogony," and "Geological Cookery" were intended to help the student of geology remember the origins and order of rocks. 

The influence of Abraham Gottlob Werner is evident in "The Argument," which has granite at "the beginning of things," at the bottom of the strata. The theories of Neptunism and Plutonism (or Vulcanism) are evident as well, although by this time most geologists accepted that both kinds of processes had been important in shaping the Earth. 

The first two poems have been tentatively attributed to Robert Bakewell (1768-1843), an English geologist who wrote a popular textbook later published in America by Silliman, and to John Scafe (1776-1843), whose King Coal's Levee, or Geological Etiquette; and the Council of the Metals was published in London in 1820. In The Religion of Geology, Hitchcock attributed the third poem, an excerpt from a longer work, to Rev. Mr. Samuel Charles Wilks.

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