Martin Gayford

Currents of imagery

In the first book of his scientific-cum-philosophical poem ‘De rerum Natura’ — or ‘On the Nature of Things’ — Lucretius draws the reader’s attention to the power of invisible forces. The wild wind, he wrote,

whips the waves of the sea, capsizes huge ships, and sends the clouds scudding; sometimes it swoops and sweeps across the plains in tearing tornado, strewing them with great trees, and hammers the heights of the mountains with forest-spitting blasts.

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