Rather than end his essay with a call for national poetry, Emerson emphasizes poetry as process. Doubt not, O poet, but persist. I know not how it is that we need an interpreter: but the great majority of men seem to be minors, who have not yet come into possession of their own, or mutes, who cannot report the conversation they have had with nature. This is the effect on us of tropes, fables, oracles, and all poetic forms. Doubt not, O poet, but persist. In our political parties, compute the power of badges and emblems. His books include Nature 1836 , The American Scholar 1837 , Divinity School Address 1838 , Essays, 2 vol.
Quoted in 2,000 Years of Freethought edited by. The young man reveres men of genius, because, to speak truly, they are more himself than he is. For, as it is dislocation and detachment from the life of God, that makes things ugly, the poet, who re-attaches things to nature and the Whole, — re-attaching even artificial things, and violations of nature, to nature, by a deeper insight, — disposes very easily of the most disagreeable facts. So in regard to other forms, the intellectual men do not believe in any essential dependence of the material world on thought and volition. The poorest experience is rich enough for all the purposes of expressing thought.
I will not now consider how much this makes the charm of algebra and the mathematics, which also, have their tropes, but it is felt in every definition; as, when Aristotle defines space to be an immovable vessel, in which things are contained;—or, when Plato defines a line to be a flowing point; or, figure to be a bound of solid; and many the like. I tumble down again soon into my old nooks, and lead the life of exaggerations as before, and have lost my faith in the possibility of any guide who can lead me thither where I would be. So the poet's habit of living should be set on a key so low and plain, that the common influences should delight him. These stand and wait to render him a peculiar service. But I am not wise enough for a national criticism, and must see the old largeness a little longer, to discharge my errand from the muse to the poet concerning his art. Hence the necessity of speech and song; hence these throbs and heart-beatings in the orator, at the door of the assembly, to the end, namely, that thought may be ejaculated as Logos, or Word. Concord became the center for the transcendentalist movement in America.
About Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803—1882 was a renowned lecturer and writer whose ideas on philosophy, religion, and literature influenced many writers, including Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. Since every thing in nature answers to a moral power, if any phenomenon remains brute and dark, it is that the corresponding faculty in the observer is not yet active. For, through that better perception, he stands one step nearer to things, and sees the flowing or metamorphosis; perceives that thought is multiform; that within the form of every creature is a force impelling it to ascend into a higher form; and, following with his eyes the life, uses the forms which express that life, and so his speech flows with the flowing of nature. He perceives the independence of the thought on the symbol, the stability of the thought, the accidency and fugacity of the symbol. A poet could unlock the selfish thoughts within us and make us realize that we live in a world where we are concerned about our thoughts and needs only, turning to be very selfish. The expression is organic, or, the new type which things themselves take when liberated. We have yet had no genius in America, with tyrannous eye, which knew the value of our incomparable materials, and saw, in the barbarism and materialism of the times, another carnival of the same gods whose picture he so much admires in Homer; then in the middle age; then in Calvinism.
The purpose of yoking mythology to poetry is to realign consciousness along a mytho-poetic axis of insight and understanding. And the mystic must be steadily told,—All that you say is just as true without the tedious use of that symbol as with it. The men, in one of his visions, seen in heavenly light, appeared like dragons, and seemed in darkness: but, to each other, they appeared as men, and, when the light from heaven shone into their cabin, they complained of the darkness, and were compelled to shut the window that they might see. At the end of a very short leap they fall plump down, and rot, having received from the souls out of which they came no beautiful wings. By virtue of this science the poet is the Namer, or Language-maker, naming things sometimes after their appearance, sometimes after their essence, and giving to every one its own name and not another's, thereby rejoicing the intellect, which delights in detachment or boundary.
He experienced doubts about the Christian church and its doctrine. The earth, and the heavenly bodies, physics, and chemistry, we sensually treat, as if they were self-existent; but these are the retinue of that Being we have. Men have really got a new sense, and found within their world, another world or nest of worlds; for the metamorphosis once seen, we divine that it does not stop. But there is some obstruction, or some excess of phlegm in our constitution, which does not suffer them to yield the due effect. However, it is very difficult with the pressures of society.
And instantly the mind inquires, whether these fishes under the bridge, yonder oxen in the pasture, those dogs in the yard, are immutably fishes, oxen, and dogs, or only so appear to me, and perchance to themselves appear upright men; and whether I appear as a man to all eyes. It is much to know that poetry has been written this very day, under this very roof by your side. Great poetry makes us feel as if we were just let out of prison. Thought makes every thing fit for use. It is a proof of the shallowness of the doctrine of beauty, as it lies in the minds of our amateurs, that men seem to have lost the perception of the instant dependence of form upon soul.
So when the soul of the poet has come to ripeness of thought, she detaches and sends away from it its poems or songs, — a fearless, sleepless, deathless progeny, which is not exposed to the accidents of the weary kingdom of time: a fearless, vivacious offspring, clad with wings such was the virtue of the soul out of which they came , which carry them fast and far, and infix them irrecoverably into the hearts of men. If thou fill thy brain with Boston and New York, with fashion and covetousness, and wilt stimulate thy jaded senses with wine and French coffee, thou shalt find no radiance of wisdom in the lonely waste of the pinewoods. All the facts of the animal economy, sex, nutriment, gestation, birth, growth, are symbols of the passage of the world into the soul of man, to suffer there a change, and reappear a new and higher fact. He hears a voice, he sees a beckoning. For, of the soul, the body form doth take, For soul is form, and doth the body make. Every thought is also a prison; every heaven is also a prison.
For all men live by truth and stand in need of expression. She is a political poet whose ideology is rooted in early American experience. Later on the essay has been categorized into four paragraphs, giving the clear picture of what a true poet and his feelings is all about. As a theorist of aesthetic experience, he always emphasized the supremacy of poetic inspiration over mere technical skill. They found or put themselves in certain conditions, as, the painter and sculptor before some impressive human figures; the orator, into the assembly of the people; and the others, in such scenes as each has found exciting to his intellect; and each presently feels the new desire.