Sonnets from the Voyage of the Beagle by Rick Mullin


Darwin journeys on the Beagle, and Rick Mullin’s poetry, beautifully voicing its subject’s inner being, takes us along with him. The sonnet is a wonderful form, just right for this world-in-formation in the mind of a young naturalist. —Roald Hoffmann

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  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 176
  • Language: English
  • Published: November, 2014
  • ISBN:  978-1-939929-22-8


Rick Mullin captures Darwin’s gift for minute and thorough observation, his almost childlike delight in the sheer inexhaustible plenty that nature provides to every sense, his ongoing comparison between the strange and the familiar (the chaotically foreign with the orderly English), and his conflicting reactions to alien cultures and to the well-intentioned efforts to “civilize” them. For me, the most notable aspect of this book is the way it is told, through a series of narrative sonnets whose language is as crisp and objective as the prose journal from which it draws data, but blessed by the speed, scope and passion of epic poetry.  —Rhina Espaillat


Evening Crossing
Near Colonia del Sacramiento, November 14

This horse will have to swim across the river.
I am amazed at how the others passed
one hundred yards at least, all but this last
dark gelding that will only buck and shiver
as he’s mounted by a gaucho stripped
from head to foot. They ride into the shallows
under crimsoned clouds until the river swallows
horse and horseman. But the rider’s slipped
into the current now, his black braid floating
near the horse’s tail, to which our swimmer
clings with one hand, splashing with another
at a gaping muzzle. Now they shimmer
as the man remounts and we begin our boating.
How well the horse and human suit each other.


Rick Mullin is a journalist and painter whose book-length poem Soutine, on the painter Chaïm Soutine, was published by Dos Madres Press in 2012. His poetry collection Coelacanth was published by Dos Madres in 2013. He is the author of the book-length poem Huncke, published by Seven Towers, Dublin, Ireland, in 2010, and two chapbooks, Aquinas Flinched (Modern Metrics/Exot Books, New York, NY, 2008) and The Stones Jones Canzones (Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, KY, 2012). He works as a business editor at Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society. His paintings are in collections in the U.S., Europe, and the British Virgin Islands.


Andrey Tamarchenko, a native of Saint Petersburg, Russia, has participated in more than 50 solo and group shows in Europe and the U.S. His paintings are in private art collections in the U.S., Italy, Spain, France, the U.K., Poland, Russia, Japan, and Australia. He recently returned to New York after a 5-year retreat in Italy. He is the founder and artistic director of element 22 in High Falls, NY.

Fionn Wilson lives in London, England. A self-taught painter, she is a member of the National Society of Painters and British Women Artists. Her paintings are in private collections in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Siberia.  She is interested in exploring life force, the energy ‘behind’ things, light, and the creation of space.

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in