Monday, September 1st, 2014
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1829 / Baltimore

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

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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?

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About the Author

Edgar Allan Poe, “Sonnet—To Science.” Born the son of two actors in Boston in 1809, Poe entered the University of Virginia in 1826, but gambling debts prompted him to abandon his studies after eleven months. After inviting his own expulsion from West Point, obtaining and then losing his editorship of the Southern Literary Messenger, and marrying his thirteen-year-old cousin, he published “The Fall of the House of Usher” in 1839, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in 1841, and “The Raven” in 1845.

No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who practices divination, is a soothsayer, an augur, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, consults ghosts or spirits, or seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord; it is because of such abhorrent practices that the Lord your God is driving them out before you.
Book of Deuteronomy, c. 620 BC
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Robert B. Weide talks about his decades-long production of a documentary on Kurt Vonnegut due to be released in 2015.
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Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
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