How Ralph Waldo Emerson Changed American Poetry

The listlessness of Emerson’s poetry is surprising, given the veneration he expressed for the art. Some of his best prose is devoted to lobbying for the special advantages of poetry. These works are thrilling because they are written in thrilling sentences.

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Emerson‘s “Self-Reliance”

“Self-Reliance” was published five years after Nature; do you see any development in Emerson’s thought during that period, or does “Self-Reliance” just recapitulate the ideas of Nature? You might look for passages in “Self-Reliance” that seem to echo Nature, and think about whether they offer “new ideas” compared to the earlier formulation.

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