Edgar Allan Poe, who is considered to be a part of the American Romantic Movement, in his poem “Sonnet- To – Science” expresses his concern for the dangers of scientific development and its bad effects on poetry and creativity of men. Romanticism believed in sustaining the environment and each flora and fauna in it as it is. For, its members were lovers of nature. They always yelled to return to a purer and innocent state of nature as they believed the modern society would corrupt the intrinsic integrity in the minds of human beings. Edgar Allan Poe lived when the industrial revolution had its culmination in Britain and it was about to spread over to the eastern parts of the United States. In this piece of work, he depicts the background of the artistic problems of emerging America. Here he has endeavored to enlist the contradiction between his imagination and the reality of science as it was emerging into a full-fledged stream.
The poet calls science as the daughter of time, for, a man had started his discoveries and inventions ever since time immemorial. He is worried that science has the magical power to change everything. The world we see today will have changed its face tomorrow on the onslaught of science and science will have its logical explanation for it. But, science just doesn’t have an explanation for changing a poet’s mind. His comparison of science to the wings of a vulture that comes to undermine everything is quite relevant in this regard (“Poe’s Poetry”). The poet is afraid that man’s quest for sophisticated tools and means will destroy humanity itself. It has been true as well, to a great extent, as one thinks of the nuclear and other most modern weapons that man has invented to destroy his fellow beings (“Sonnet-to Science”).
The advent of science was so good as far as humanity is concerned. But as for Poe, he believes that one must place his faith in nature and not on scholars or scientists. He believes that the ability of modern man to find an answer to silly questions from nature itself has completely lost. Science is all about reality and what poets think of is fantasy, and every marvelous artistic creation we see today is a result of their whims and fancies. A good piece of romantic writing and poems are not born on a single day. They are inseminated in the hearts of the writer on not just an impulse. They are the result of hard work and tremendous thoughts. The pain that he suffered in delivering them is unimaginable that only poets and people with high aesthetic sense can understand it. As for the poets, the hard reality of science is indigestible, for, their minds are inclined to the beauty of nature and everything they want is a free mind that can float over the magnificent creatures in nature (“Review on Sonnet”). So, they never wish anything to change the ravishing beauty of nature. He criticizes science for dominating the minds of people and not allowing them to give room for creativity and imagination.
It is correct that the advent of science and technology has changed the very shape of the world. The industrial revolution might have made a man more selfish and led him to consumerism- a state of mind. But, still, I can’t find an answer to the poet’s concerns. I have never heard that science challenged literature somewhere. The over the excitement of the world for highly advanced machinery and equipment has brought much annoyance to the environment. However, how they affect the imagination and creativity of the poet is a question that may not have a precise answer (“Sonnet-to-Science analyses”). Everything I want to say is that myths and science are entirely different. While one does with imagination, the other is after the reality. So, treat them as they are. A good combination of these two can produce a better imagination and creativity than Poe envisaged. Moreover, he might have had a belief that science would not give birth to skillful writers as people are not prone to think imaginarily. None of his believes hold good since the number of budding writers and poets are numerous in the present-day world. If imagination and creativity were absent in modern man science would not have become as we see it today. Here the poet has failed to realize the creativity in man though the field is different. Thus, only in terms of having more interest in science as compared to literature, we can criticize the modern world and not for their creativity.
Poe’s Poetry Summary and Analysis. Grade Saver.
Poe, Allan Edgar. Sonnet-to-Science.
Review on Sonnet-to-Science by Edgar Allan Poe.
Sonnet-to-Science Analysis. Elite Skills Classics.