Poems cover

Poems

George Santayana (1863-1952)

1. Preface
2. Sonnets 1883 -1893 1-5
3. Sonnets 6-10
4. Sonnets 11-15
5. Sonnets 16-20
6. Sonnets 1895 and after 21-25
7. Sonnets 26-30
8. Sonnets 31-35
9. Sonnets 36-40
10. Sonnets 41-45
11. Sonnets 46-50
12. Miscellaneous Sonnets (1-3)
13. Miscellaneous Sonnets - to W.P.
14. Miscellaneous Sonnets - Before a Statue of Achilles, The Rustic at the Play
15. Odes 1-2
16. Ode 3
17. Odes 4-5
18. Athletic Ode
19. Cape Cod
20. A Toast
21. Premonition
22. Solipsism
23. Sybaris
24. Avila
25. Kings College Chapel
26. On an Unfinished Statue by Michael Angelo in the Bargello, called an Apollo or a David
27. Midnight
28. In Grantchester Meadows On First Hearing a Skylark Sing
29. Spain in America
30. A Minuet on Reaching the Age of Fifty
31. Translations: From Michael Angelo
32. Translations: From Theophile Gautier
33. A Spaniard in England - an essay by Edmund Gosse

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    Summary

    George Santayana was born in Spain, educated in Boston and taught at Harvard before returning to Europe to spend the last forty years of his life writing. He is primarily known as a philosopher, his five-volume The Life of Reason being his magnus opus. But he also wrote a successful novel, The Last Puritan, as well as plays, essays and poetry. During his time at Harvard he influenced many of his student including T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost.Of these poems which he chose to collect together in this volume he says, "What I felt when I composed those verses could not have been rendered in any other form. Their sincerity is absolute, not only in respect to the thought which might be abstracted from them and expressed in prose, but also in respect to the aura of literary and religious associations which envelops them. . . . In one sense I think that my verses, mental and thin as their texture may be, represent a true inspiration, a true docility. . . . For as to the subject of these poems, it is simply my philosophy in the making." (From the Preface) The collection consists of fifty sonnets, a few odes an a selection of miscellaneous poems. The volume concludes with as essay about Santayana by poet and literary critic Edmund Gosse who says of Santayana's poetry, "Only in solitude can soliloquies be appreciated, and Mr. Santayana is not an author for loud streets..."