Born in London, Arthur O’Shaughnessy worked in the Zoology Department of the British Museum, where he became an expert in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles. By age 30, he had published three collections of poetry, including Music and Moonlight, which contained his inspiring poem “Ode.” He and his wife, Eleanor, wrote the children’s storybook Toyland. The couple’s two children both died as infants, and Eleanor died a few years later. Arthur’s cause of death was listed as a “chill” after he walked home from the theater one rainy night.
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"I learned just how much deeper your understanding of a poem is when you memorize it than when you just read it a couple of times, and how you understand it a little better every single time you recite it."