An Amazing Millay Sonnet March 29, 2011

This sonnet by Edna St Vincent Millay has, for some reason, been sitting on my desk for a year or so, and I just found it. Keep in mind that it was written in 1939, thirty years before men actually landed on the moon, and the sonnet, among other things, predicts that event. But in many other ways, if you read it today, you say, “Now more than ever!”

Upon this age, that never speaks its mind,
This furtive age, this age endowed with power
To wake the moon with footsteps, fit an oar
Into the rowlocks of the wind, and find
What swims before his prow, what swirls behind—-
Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts …. They lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric; undefiled
Proceeds pure Science, and has her say; but still
Upon this world from the collective womb
Is spewed all day the red triumphant child.

One Comments
jelowsky 03/29/2011

That is an amazing sonnet. The “meteoric shower of facts” makes me wonder if that is what will kill off intelligence just as the dinosaurs became extinct. Thanks for making this sonnet available

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