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April 26, 1930

“Poetry and the Machine,” a lecture by American poet Stephen Vincent Benét, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of John Brown’s Body (1928), was presented under the auspices of the Vassar Cooperative Bookshop. Poetry in the modern age, he told his audience, “must consider the machine. For us, we have heard machines since we were born—they are part of us, in our blood. Our children will be able to write of them more naturally. But in the interim, there are songs to write.

“I refuse,” Benét continued,“ to think of the machine as a God, and I do not believe in the devil. Man has survived many ages, and it is possible that he may survive this one. He had the habit of it. And I imagine he may write poetry— For us, there are songs to write. Let us be bold.”

The Miscellany News

The Years