In volume one of his classic 19th century work “British Conchology”, John Gwyn Jeffreys wrote: "The snail has been but rarely the subject of poetical treatment. Minor poets would be afraid of touching it; and even in the hands of those great masters to whom it has been given to interpret the deeper harmonies of the universe, it is only upon rare occasions that this little animal could fittingly present itself as a link in the chain of their conceptions ...".
Despite this over the years molluscs have featured in a range of literary works including plays/novels and nursery rhymes. Indeed, the oldest published example occurs in our earliest book of nursery rhymes, “Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book” (1744).
However, it is probably in poems that molluscs have featured most with examples including:
- Recipe for Repose Lucio (Mr Philips) (1946)
- Poems on Conchology and Botany Sarah Hoare (1831)
- The Shell Collector Peter Topley (2003)
- Leopold Blaschka glass animals in Dublin’s Natural History Museum Peter Topley (2003)
- The Snail James Reeves
- The Snail William Cowper
- The Snail J.Y. Chapman
- Eine Kleine Snailmusik May Sarton