A Poem by George Santayana on His Birthday

Flowers For Socrates

George Santayana (1863-1952) was born in Spain as Jorge Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás; American philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. His mother had promised her first husband, an American, that their children would be raised in the U.S., and took them there in 1869. Jose (George) remained in Spain with his father, her second husband, until 1872, when they both joined the rest of the family in Boston, but his father soon returned to Spain, and his son did not see him again until he was at Harvard, and started going to Spain for his summer vacations. After graduating from Harvard, he studied for two years in Berlin, then returned to Harvard to write his dissertation on the philosopher Herman Lotze. He became a professor in Harvard’s philosophy department (1889-1912), and his students included T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Santayana never married. In…

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