what was poe's poem "to science" about?greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
what was poe's poem "to science" about? please help me analyize
-- Anonymous, September 16, 2003
A common theme of the times when Romantic writers were enthralled by progress and new science but wistfully looking toward the myths and fantasies of bygone times. A sense of unease, loss and alienation was on its way when progress did not live up to the ideals of the past or the exciting future they envisioned.
Science is a "daughter of Old Time" and her "eyes" trouble him. Interesting use of a counter female ideal who denies his poetic dreams by harsh realities of bare truths. Old Time sets the bedrock of truth which now haunts the poet. The terms are not flattering. In the second half of the poem comes the argument plaint using images of classical myth, of nature gods. It is a youthful poem and seems to recall something of Shelley and Byron. The 1829 poem has him sitting under "the shrubbery" wisely but dishonestly amended in the "verbatim" reprinting decades later to "the tamerind tree." So the poet irnocially has his beauty though taken away by Science's cold truth.
Simple, yet Poe's use of argument and questions is very artfully done to suggest opposites and parallels. Science is a Ligeia-like haunting image borrowed from some of his more obsessive female portraits. Unlike Dina's owl of wisdom, their is the predatory vulture over its victim balanced by the list of "victims" from classical mythology.
Poe's mind naturally does more with a sonnet than most other poets while setting a mood more overpowering than his subtle structures.
-- Anonymous, September 18, 2003