Tag Archives: great astronomerrs

Oliver Wendell Holmes – Portrait Of A Genius

Oliver Wendell Holmes’ fascination with the sky began when he was quite young. When he was nine years old he paid a dime for a look at Venus through a telescope. This was a transfiguring experience. In his own words: “I had seen Venus. The Earth on which I lived has never been the same to me since that time. All my human sentiments, all my religious beliefs, seem to have undergone a change.”

Love those sideburns!

Love those sideburns!

By the time this budding poet reached adulthood, celestial thoughts were often crossing his mind. When he was 21, Holmes visualized the destructive power of a giant comet impacting the Earth. He recorded his vision in the poem “The Comet” (1830).

The Comet! He is on his way And singing as he flies; The whizzing planets shrink before The spectre of