Poetry: Sonnet – To Magic

My inspiration was from Edgar Allen Poe’s Sonnet — to Science (click to read it). Reading Poe’s poem gave me chills of guilt. While not anti-magic, I’m pro-science. Knowledge makes the universe more interesting. We will never know or understand everything. Magic and scientific exploration will go on. Yet, I do share Poe’s lament.



Sonnet – To Magic

Magic! True father of science thou art!
…Who brightens all things with thy happy cries.
Why say thou to poetic scientific hearts,
…A scolder, who brightens our dullest eyes?
How should we love thee? Or how deem thee wise,
…Who of magic wouldst leave him to his thing?
To see for answers in the quelled skies,
…Albeit he soared with daunted left wing?
Did thou set Diana into her car,
…And give Hamadryad her tree of wood
And seek shelter on some happier star?
…Hast magic not set the Naiad to flood,
The Elfin to green grass, given to me
…Summer dreams beneath the tamarind tree?

(Bill Reynolds © 9 May 2018)

With magic and science, look both ways and be mindful of many gaps.


Love is the biggest magic of all.

**Note: I am not a fan of analyzing poetry, but my editor questioned some lines. This explanation relates back to Poe’s sonnet. “Line nine, Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? refers to the Roman goddess of hunting and virginity, who rides the moon across the sky at night. With science, people saw that the moon, instead of being a carriage for a goddess, was actually a lifeless rock, so science metaphorically dragged her off the moon. The next two lines talk about the Hamadryad, which is a nymph from Greek and Roman mythology that lives in a tree and dies when the tree dies. Science, however, believes the tree lives without such creatures, and so the idea of the Hamadryad has been driven away.”


12 thoughts on “Poetry: Sonnet – To Magic

  1. WOW! This one is especially fierce. I showed it to my daughter and she wants to know if you have published a book of your poetry yet!!! Well? Get on it, Man!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi – I assume you already know this, but if not, the first couple of lines of this sonnet are quoted in the new TV series “Leverage: Redemption” – episode 6 of season 1, titled “The Card Game Job”. I was struck by the lines and Google brought me here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi. I’m watching Leverage Redemption Episode 6 exactly. There’s a scene where in a faire, one of the side characters perform a sonnet which leads me here. So I’m leaving a comment to let you know I found you thanks to the show. Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you don’t mind me asking. Have the production crews ever asked for your permission to use your works in their show?

        Liked by 1 person

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