Ralph Waldo Emerson

Discussion on Emerson's Creations

How Ralph Waldo Emerson Changed American Poetry

October 2, 2023
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.

Old Age

June 18, 2023

ONCE more,’ the old man cried, ye clouds,Airy turrets purple-piled,Which once my infancy beguiled,Beguile me with the wonted spell.I know ye skilful to convoyThe total freight of hope and joyInto rude and homely nooks,Shed mocking lustres on shelf of books,On farmer’s byre, on pasture rude,And stony pathway to the wood.I care not if the pomps you showBe what they soothfast appear,Or if von realms in sunset glowBe bubbles of the atmosphere.And if it be to you allowedTo fool me with a shining cloud,So only new griefs are consoledBy new delights, as old by old,Frankly I will be your guest,Count your change and cheer the best.The world bath overmuch of pain,…

Domestic Life

April 29, 2023

I REACHED the middle of the mountUp which the incarnate soul must climb,And paused for them, and looked around,With me who walked through space and time.Five rosy boys with morning lightHad leaped from one fair mother’s arms,Fronted the sun with hope as bright,And greeted God with childhood’s psalms. Thou shalt make thy houseThe temple of a nation’s vows.Spirits of a higher strainWho sought thee once shall seek again.I detected many a godForth already on the road,Ancestors of beauty comeIn thy breast to make a home. DOMESTIC LIFE THE perfection of the providence for child-hood is easily acknowledged. The care which covers the seed of the tree under tough husks and…

Eloquence

April 19, 2023

For whom the Muses smile upon,And touch with soft persuasion,His words, like a storm-wind, can bringTerror and beauty on their wing;In his every syllableLurketh nature veritable;And though he speak in midnight dark, –In heaven no star, on earth no spark, –Yet before the listener’s eyeSwims the world in ecstasy,The forest waves, the morning breaks,The pastures sleep, ripple the lakes,Leaves twinkle, flowers like persons beAnd life pulsates in rock or tree. ELOQUENCE IT is the doctrine of the popular music-masters that whoever can speak can sing. So probably every man is eloquent once in his life. Our temperaments differ in capacity of heat, or, we boil at different degrees. One man…

Dive into Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”: Insights, Analysis, and Discussion

February 9, 2023
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.

Clubs

July 24, 2022

YET Saadi loved the race of men, –No churl, immured in cave or den;In bower and hallHe wants them all; But he has no companion;Come ten, or come a million, Good Saadi dwells alone . Too long shut in strait and few,Thinly dieted on dew,I will use the world, and sift it,To a thousand humors shift it. CLUBS WE are delicate machines, and require nice treatment to get from us the maximum of power and pleasure. We need tonics, but must have those that cost little or no reaction. The flame of life burns too fast in pure oxygen, and Nature has tempered the air with nitrogen. So thought is the native air of…

Courage

July 23, 2022

So nigh is grandeur to our dust,So near is God to man,When Duty whispers low, Thou must,The youth replies, I can. PERIL around, all else appalling,Cannon in front and leaden rain,Him duty, through the clarion callingTo the van, called not in vain. COURAGE I OBSERVE that there are three qualities which conspicuously attract the wonder and reverence of mankind : – 1. Disinterestedness, as shown in indifference to the ordinary bribes and influences of conduct, – a purpose so sincere and generous that it cannot be tempted aside by any prospects of wealth or other private advantage. Self-love is, in almost all men, such an over-weight, that they are incredulous…

Works and Days

April 16, 2022

DAUGHTERS of Time, the hypocritic Days,Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,And marching single in an endless file,Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.To each they offer gifts after his will,Bread, kingdoms, stars and sky that holds them all.I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp,Forgot my morning wishes, hastilyTook a few herbs and apples, and the DayTurned and departed silent. I, too late,Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn. This passing moment is an edifice Which the Omnipotent cannot rebuild OUR nineteenth century is the age of tools. They grew out of our structure. “Man is the meter of all things,” said Aristotle; “the hand is the instrument of instruments,…

Margaret Fuller

April 16, 2022
Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller was a women’s rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was also an American journalist. Her given name was Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli.

Art

April 11, 2022

I FRAMED his tongue to music,I armed his hand with skill, I moulded his face to beautyAnd his heart the throne of Will. ART ALL departments of life at the present day – Trade, Politics, Letters, Science, or Religion – seem to feel, and to labor to express, the identity of their law. They are rays of one sun; they translate each into a new language the sense of the other. They are sublime when seen as emanations of a Necessity contradistinguished from the vulgar Fate by being instant and alive, and dissolving man as well as his works in its flowing beneficence. This influence is conspicuously visible in the…