Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., was a member of the New England Fireside Poets who lived from August 29, 1809 to October 7, 1894. He was a physician, polymath and author and as previously stated, a poet. His most famous prose works were the Breakfast Table series. But, he was also an important medical reformer. The list of his accomplishments in other areas are numerous.
As a side observation, has it ever struck anyone else how much people use to get done before the modern age of so many conveniences?
He began writing poetry at an early age. But, it was through his work Old Ironsides, published in 1830, that he gained fame in this area and helped to preserve the USS Constitution. In the interim in his life he both studied law and medicine and become a reformer as well as going on to become a professor at Harvard. After Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882, he continued writing poetry, novels and essays until his death.
Again as an aside, have anyone else ever noticed that we didn’t work just one career and simply retire in bygone ages? We went on to accomplish great things still. Sometimes, I wonder about our modern age expectations. Anyone else every think on this? There was no resting on laurels. I think that perhaps this was a good thing.
Some of the best of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.’s poetry can be read here:
The Chambered Nautilus
Alternatively, these may be listened to in an audiobook format here: