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Biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894)

Oliver Wendell Holmes the elder, (August 29, 1809 – October 8, 1894) was a physician by profession but achieved fame as a writer; he was one of the best regarded American poets of the 19th century.

He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of a minister. He was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and at Harvard University. He first attained national prominence with his poem "Old Ironsides" about the 18th century battleship USS Constitution, which was to be broken up for scrap; the poem generated public sentiment that resulted in the historic ship being preserved as a monument.

He went to Paris for three years to study medicine, then returned to get his doctorate at Harvard in 1836, the same year the first book of his verse was published. He then became a professor of anatomy and physiology at Dartmouth College.

He was a contributor of essays and poems to the Atlantic Monthly from its inception, and also published novels. His son was Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

In 1846, in a letter to William T. G. Morton, the dentist who was the first practicioner to publicly demonstrate the use of ether during surgery, Holmes coined the word anæsthesia.

Holmes died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1894, and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Biography by: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Oliver Wendell Holmes.


36 Poems written by Oliver Wendell Holmes

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | Page Views | Comments | [First Lines]


First LineComments
An Unpublished Poem, by my late Latin Tutor.
As I look from the isle, o'er its billows of green,
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! Comments and analysis of Old Ironsides by Oliver Wendell Holmes 6 Comments
Behold the rocky wall Comments and analysis of The Two Streams by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 Comment
COME, dear old comrade, you and I
DEVOUTEST of my Sunday friends,
FLAG of the heroes who left us their glory,
GRANDMOTHER's mother: her age, I guess,
HAS there any old fellow got mixed with the boys? Comments and analysis of The Boys by Oliver Wendell Holmes 2 Comments
Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay, Comments and analysis of The Deacon's Masterpiece Or, The Wonderful 75 Comments
Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay, Comments and analysis of The Deacon's Masterpiece Or, The Wonderful 1 Comment
HER hands are cold; her face is white;
How the mountains talked together,
I Comments and analysis of For the Moore Centennial Celebration by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 Comment
I love all sights of earth and skies,
I saw him once before, Comments and analysis of The Last Leaf by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 Comment
I WROTE some lines once on a time Comments and analysis of The Height of the Ridiculous by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 Comment
If all the trees in all the woods were men; Comments and analysis of Cacoethes Scribendi by Oliver Wendell Holmes 39 Comments
IN the little southern parlor of tbe house you may have seen
I'M not a chicken; I have seen Comments and analysis of The September Gale by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 Comment
Life is real, life is earnest, Comments and analysis of A Parody on “A Psalm of Life” by Oliver Wendell Holmes 49 Comments
NOT in the world of light alone,
OH for one hour of youthful joy! Comments and analysis of The Old Man Dreams by Oliver Wendell Holmes 2 Comments
Oh, there are times
SAY not the Poet dies!
SEXTON! Martha's dead and gone; Comments and analysis of Martha by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 Comment
SHE has gone,-- she has left us in passion and pride,-- Comments and analysis of Brother Jonathan's Lament by Oliver Wendell Holmes 2 Comments
THERE was a giant in time of old,
THIS is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign, Comments and analysis of The Chambered Nautilus by Oliver Wendell Holmes 2 Comments
THROUGH my north window, in the wintry weather,--
WE count the broken lyres that rest Comments and analysis of The Voiceless by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 Comment
WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
WHERE is this patriarch you are kindly greeting?
YES, write, if you want to, there's nothing like trying;
"BRING me my broken harp," he said;
"Man wants but little here below." Comments and analysis of Contentment by Oliver Wendell Holmes 4 Comments


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