While we spent a lot of time celebrating Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday in January, we find ourselves in the midst of celebrations of Poe’s contemporaries. As fate would have it February 12th was the 200th birthday for both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Both were men of great ideas and Writely Applied in their words as was Poe.
I always watch with great interest programs related to the life of great men. One show after another has been aired on our late great President Abraham Lincoln. During this great time in our history being lead under our first black president, there is much to celebrate in the accomplishments of this great man alone. I was awe struck at the number of people that gathered to see President Lincoln’s remains during his travel across the America of his time. Over seven million people viewed the President during his funeral ride from Washington to Springfield, Illinois.
But he was one man. Rarely do we get to put into perspective a man in his time. I was reading Lincoln, Darwin, Poe – 3 giants born in 1 month by Peter Bourque and of course I got to thinking about how incredible it is. These men, whose paths perhaps never crossed, lived in an evolving period in history. Even if it was not believed so during the time, we look back and are blown away on what was going on in politics and science…and American literature.
“The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.” Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)
“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)
“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
Charles Darwin (February 12, 1809 – April 19, 1882)
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