The writings of English poet and mystic Thomas Traherne (1626–1674) remain a relatively underexplored reservoir. Traherne's technological context includes the invention of the telescope (1608) as well as the microscope (c. 1590). As will become evident in this article, Traherne's expositions on creation display an imagination that is adept at placing itself behind both types of lenses. This article focuses on Traherne's treatment of two types of insects—the fly and the ant—in order to extrapolate some of the insights that can be gleaned from Traherne's writings for the ontological status of all nonhuman animals.

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