Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Sonnet: To Science" by Edgar Allan Poe

Sonnet: To Science
by Edgar Allan Poe

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?



  1. I love the line "jewelled skies." The stars do look like diamonds.

    Prepare to be confused.
    I can not comprehend what Poe means when he says "vulture, whose wings are dull realities." It's just confusing me. Science (or dull realities I think...)are praying upon the poet's heart? Does that just mean that science effects a poet? Makes them appreciate nature, and gives them more subjects to ponder? Or is it that a poet has to go beyond the dull realities of science to find the beauty of poetry?

    Sorry about the ramble...I'm not even sure if I understand what I'm asking.

  2. I think he's saying that science (and reality) is dull and unpoetic and preys ont he poet's imagination. And disillusioning for telling us that Santa isn't real and such. ;)

  3. Thanks! You just made sense of my ramblings. I am much less confused now! But I'm not sure if I agree. *ponders*

  4. I know science isn't bad, but I still like this poem. It just kinda sums up a feeling . . . I don't know how to describe it. I stink at describing stuff. But it kinda sums up the feeling I get when people say they don't believe in fairies. I'm a weirdie, I know. ;)

  5. I think I understnd what you mean, Rosemary... science is great and important, but the poetic soul finds more pleasure in things of fantasy and myth. We may not really believe in them, but we love the wonder and beauty they bring to life. On a slightly different note, I know I hate thinking about WHY some things are...I want to enjoy their beauty without thinking about light waves and molecules and all that stuff.

  6. I am eternally grateful for you writerly people who say so well what I don't know how to say!

    That reminds me of a quote from Anne of Green Gables!
    "It's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"

    You know what's always bugged me? Everyone is forced to learn science but no one is ever forced to read poetry. :P

  7. Actually I think Seton makes you take poetry... not sure. I love Anne of Green Gables! ^.^