George Santayana was a Spanish-born American philosopher, critic, essayist, novelist, and poet. He received his PhD from Harvard and became a faculty member in 1889. During his tenure at Harvard, Santayana’s students included Conrad Aiken, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens. In 1912, Santayana moved to Europe and never returned to the United States. He died in 1952, a few months before his 89th birthday.
About This Poem
George Santayana is regarded as one of the most prominent champions of critical realism, and is a central figure in the era now called Classical American Philosophy. His first published work was a book of poetry titled Sonnets and Other Verses.
There may be chaos still around the world
by George Santayana
There may be chaos still around the world,
This little world that in my thinking lies;
For mine own bosom is the paradise
Where all my life’s fair visions are unfurled.
Within my nature’s shell I slumber curled,
Unmindful of the changing outer skies,
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies,
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled.
I heed them not; or if the subtle night
Haunt me with deities I never saw,
I soon mine eyelid’s drowsy curtain draw
To hide their myriad faces from my sight.
They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe
A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.