A Poetical Historical Puzzler

I’m listening to replays of the radio talk show “Car Talk” this morning. Beloved by many, annoying to some, this iconic series aired on National Public Radio in original form from 1977 to 2012. Hosted by two brothers who ran a car repair shop in Cambridge (“our fair city”) Massachusetts, the show featured callers with a variety of problems — some automotive, some marital. Tom and Ray Magliozzi found humor in everything and often filled half of an episode with their infectious and/or infuriating laughter. The brothers didn’t often speak of their actually impressive credentials — both were graduates of MIT, and Tom had an MBA. The show won a Peabody Award in 1992, and the hosts were the MIT commencement speakers in 1999.

Anyway — one regular feature of the program was “the Puzzler,” a logic or math problem to be solved by the listeners. Some were related to cars, but many were “non-automotive” or “quasi-automotive.”

In this spirit, we present the first of what might become several FFE Puzzlers. This one is quasi-science-fictional and decidedly historical-poetical. It is simply this:

When was the (very timely, we think) poem below written, and by whom? For extra credit, where was it first published? Extra EXTRA credit for answers achieved without the use of Google. Please send your responses to info@firstfandomexperience.org.