The Difference Between Humans and Animals

by Carl Linnaeus

We have not the strength of the elephant,
but our intelligence has tamed the strongest of them.

We have not the speed of the hare,
but our genius has learned to capture the speediest of them.

We have not front feet to dig through the earth like the mole,
but our minds have devised ways to bore through hard bedrock.




Note: Linnaeus wrote most of his prose and poetry in Swedish.
Beautiful to Swedish ears, much of his work outside of taxonomy is still unknown to the rest of the world.
Linnaeus was a deeply religious man, and he often used parallelism in his writing, a method used often in the bible. The son of a clergyman, Linnaeus, no doubt grew up hearing the scriptures, which clearly influenced his writing as an adult. This post offers a little text from Linnaeus on the difference between humans and various animals. It's easy to see his use of parallelism.

As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
Carl Linnaeus
Carl Linnaeus

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