“A meteoric shower of facts” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

“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.”

–Edna St. Vincent Millay, from “Upon This Age That Never Speaks Its Mind,” Collected Sonnets (New York: Harper Perennial, 1988), 140.

3 thoughts on ““A meteoric shower of facts” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  1. Now retired, I still remember the striking effect this poem had on me while I was still a working woman. I printed it and hung it on my office wall. To my mind, even now, our gifted age has still not emerged from its dark hour. When will we find that loom and who will weave the needed fabric?

  2. lestheprof – Professor of Computing (now emeritus), and jazz piano player (and sometimes clarinet too). Also husband, father, e-bicyclist, ... Lives in Dunblane, Scotland.
    lestheprof on said:

    I am at the International Neuroinformatics Co-ordinating Facility (http://www.incf.org) conference, in Leiden, and this poem has just been presented, to illustrate what we are trying to do!

  3. My former boss, John Nelder, had the second half of this poem on his desk. He worked to provide such a loom, and statistical software is now available everywhere to help to weave fabric in every area of human endeavour.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply