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(1863 - 1952)
Santayana was a Spanish born American philosopher and poet. He became a professor at Harvard (among his students were Felix Frankfurter [1882-1965] and T. S. Eliot [1888-1965]). His was a school known as American realism. Santayana's five volumed The Life of Reason (1905-6) is "a landmark in the philosophy of history ... vast in scope yet luxuriant in detail." Santayana's other books included: Skepticism and Animal Faith (1923); The Last Puritan, A Memoir In the Form of a Novel (1935), this was Santayana's "first and only novel ... a brilliant analysis of the New England character ... a profound commentary on the moral and material idols of the twentieth century"; The Idea of Christ in the Gospels or God in Man (1946); Dominations and Power; Reflections on Liberty Society and Government (1951); Poems (New York: Scribner's, 1935); Persons & Places, The Background of my Life (Autobio.) (New York: Scribner's, 1944); Persons & Places, The Middle Span (Autobio.) (Scribner's, 1945). The two books about Santayana that I have are The Philosophy of Santayana (New York: Scribner's, 1942), Vagabond Scholar by Bruno Lind (New York: Bridgehead, 1962) and Santayana: The Later Years, A Portrait with Letters by Daniel Cory (New York: Braziller, 1963).
O DWELLER in the valley, lift thine eyes
To where, above the drift of cloud, the stone
Endures in silence, and to God alone
Upturns its furrowed visage, and is wise.
There yet is being, far from all that dies,
And beauty where no mortal maketh moan,
Where larger planets swim the liquid zone,
And wider spaces stretch to calmer skies.
Only a little way above the plain Is snow eternal.
Round the mountain's knees
Hovers the fury of the wind and rain.
Look up, and teach thy noble heart to cease
From endless labour. There is perfect peace
Only a little way above thy pain.
© 2001 Elena and Yakov Feldman