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Analysis and comments on Sonnet - To Science by Edgar Allan Poe

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Comment 14 of 104, added on November 4th, 2009 at 2:49 PM.

Lianna is absolutely correct. Following up on Edgar Allan Poe's thesis,
how can anyone any longer wax poetic about Selene when Apollo 11 showed her
to be a mere huge, lifeless lump of rock enslaved to the "dull reality" of
the Force of Gravity?

Eduardo Freire Canosa from Spain
Comment 13 of 104, added on July 3rd, 2009 at 10:42 PM.

Edgar is saying in this peom that science is taking the mystery and beauty
of out life. He doesn't know how these scientists could be loved or
considered wise when they ruin everything for poets and writers. He uses
classical allusions to mythology. Edgar is not referring to Princess Diana
in this peom... he is using an allusion to Diana in mythology and how she
is no longer riding her chariot because scientist have proven that wrong
and ripped her out, just like the mermaids of the ocean. Edgar is trying to
say how could anyone think science is wonderful when it takes all the
beauty and imagination out of the world.

Lianna from United States
Comment 12 of 104, added on June 12th, 2009 at 12:03 AM.

Connotatively, I think Edgar Allan Poe, is simply rebuking science as a
destroyer of nature. "...who (science)alterest all things with thy peering
eyes" The poet blames scientists for their inquisitiveness into nature. The
imagery of vulture in the poem underscores how he detests science and what
it does; vulture epitomizes,ugliness,scanvenger,filth,it connotes evil. The
poet sees science in that light. Since science is
factual,objective,probable,science therefore,is opposition to poetry which
is subjective, imaginative and improbable;hence science and literary art
are opposition. "how would he (poet) love thee?(science)...who wouldst not
leave him (poet) in his wandering to seek for treasures in the jewelled
skies..." It is only in literary works of art this is visible where a poet
or writer can seek and find treasures in the skies filled with jewelleries
to suit his imagination. The poet persona is lamenting that even such a
harmless imagination by the poet is not permissible by science because
scientists would dispute with facts that skies contains water, cloud etc
but not treasures. "Has thou(scientists)not dragged Diana from her car..."
The poet is concern that even the general mythology that Diana rides on
chariots as the goddess of the moon, have been disproved by science.
"...has thou not torn Naiad(mermaid)from her flood" In order word, science
has rendered all the mythology surrounding nature as false with their
'peering' eyes (telescope,microscope etc). The universal theory that
beneath the oceans are mermaids which writers explore; scientists have gone
there with their cameras to prove that no mermaids or sea goddess lives
there. "...and from me the summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?". The
poet persona is worried that science being a disruptive element to nature
is also inimical to him as a poet to write from his imagination under the
serenity of a tropical tree without wondering if science will not disaprove
of his imagination.

Bolaji Sobande from Nigeria
Comment 11 of 104, added on October 12th, 2007 at 10:18 AM.

Wow, this is a little startling to read in modern times until you realize
that a "car" used to be a chariot and that Princess Diana's namesake is the
old goddess of the hunt.

Comment 10 of 104, added on October 11th, 2007 at 10:14 PM.

I just dont get how he coulda written about Dianna, if he means the
princess, cuz he lived wayy before her...

Dino from Canada
Comment 9 of 104, added on March 15th, 2006 at 5:09 PM.

This poem is similar to Wordsworth's "The Table's Turned." It is built on
the Romantic commonplace that the scientific spirit destroys natural
beauty. Romantic authors were interested in the imagination, emotion, and
one's personal experience with nature. Science takes the emotion out of
nature and the world around us.

Davis from United States
Comment 8 of 104, added on February 23rd, 2006 at 7:27 PM.

When i first read this poem, i understood everything until the Diana
thing, i know it talks about separtion; taking the wood nymph from the
wood, the water nymph from the water and all, but i don't understand how
that fits in with science.

Eiriella from United Kingdom
Comment 7 of 104, added on October 9th, 2005 at 4:25 PM.

This poem perfectly highlights a struggle going on in my own life right
now. Half a year ago I would have said that Science is the greatest good in
life and that aquiring knowledge is the only true calling and purpose of
man, but this poem and close inspection definitely call that into question.
It's simply a fact that the more you probe, judge, and inspect the world
around you the less magical and beautiful it becomes. A tree or a sunset is
a work of art layed out before us, but when we start inspecting
photosynthesis and the effects of industrial pollution on light refraction
the magic has all disappeared. So the real question is, do we keep on
quantifying and catagorizing our world, sit idly by while the vulture tears
the heart from our breast, or do we stay content to sit in the dark
surrounded by beauty but no meaning? What a dilema.

Trevinski from United States
Comment 6 of 104, added on October 2nd, 2005 at 7:59 AM.

Yes, MODERN Science is a Vulture on humanity, mostly. It does not HAVE to
be so. William Blake knew this also. The industrial world view has smashed
our souls to bits, almost literally, if you think of the hydrogen bomb!
There are visionary Scientists such as Lynn Margulis, Sylvia Earle, Wangari
Matthai, but they often struggle and suffer much. It's a prescient,
prophetic lament of a poem. A girl who is a math and physics student sent
it to me! How appropriate, and what a surprise! There is hope for the
future generations!!! Also , the mythopoeic mode comes BEFORE science, and
science comes in to give flesh on the bones. We can have a Myth of Science,
but we can never have a Science of myth. Myth can't be contained or
reduced, though science has tried its damndest, from Marxism to

Paul from United States
Comment 5 of 104, added on July 26th, 2005 at 6:03 PM.

I am a person that loves science and poetry, I also believe that Edger
Allen Poe was suggesting that science is or can begin as a poem. Think
about it science is a hipothetical situation the only diffrence is that it
is later disproven or prooved true, insted of letting others like ourself
put our own meanings behind things. then I also agree with Arch

asucar from Kuwait

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Information about Sonnet - To Science

Poet: Edgar Allan Poe
Poem: Sonnet - To Science
Year: 1829
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1026 times
Poem of the Day: Mar 22 2010

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