"Politics" is an essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson

had claimed that education, reflection, and self-cultivation lead us to invert "the vulgar views of nature, and brings the mind to call ... that real, which it use[d] to call visionary." Now Emerson pushes one step further, poetry is "the science of the real," which is to say that it is not concerned so much with the material or the phenomenal as it is with underlying laws. Emerson had made this stand clear in earlier essays, but in "The Poet" he discusses more fully the poet's use of language. The poet must not only use words, but he must be able to use things--nature--as a language. "Nature offers all her creatures to him as a picture language," Emerson says. "Things admit of being used as symbols, because nature is a symbol, in the whole and in every part." If the student asks what nature is symbolic of, the answer is, symbolic of the human spirit. "The universe is the externalization of the soul." This idea, too, had been said by Emerson before, though not with such epigrammatic authority. What really happens in poetic practice is suggested by Emerson when he says, "the world being thus put under the mind for verb and noun, the poet is he who can articulate it." What the poet realizes is that not only words and things, but "we are symbols, and inhabit symbols."

Free Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-reliance Essays and …

(1850), a book made up of lectures first given in 1845 on , Swedenborg, Montaigne, , Napoleon, and Goethe, is the fullest account of Emerson's biographical approach to literature. This subject is not new with him. It goes back at least to his early lecture on , but it now has a new emphasis. Just as he had once claimed that there is properly no history, only biography, so comes close to saying there is properly no literature, there are only literary persons. "There must be a man behind the book," he says of Goethe. "It makes a great difference to the force of any sentence whether there be a man behind it or no." Emerson's representative figures are his Plutarchan heroes. The book is a pantheon of heroes, chosen not from among warriors (except for Napoleon), but from among thinkers and writers, who are of use to us because they represent or symbolize qualities that lie in us, too. They are essays in symbolic literary biography. Assuming that language is representative, that is, symbolic, Emerson says that "Behmen and Swedenborg saw that things were representative." Then, moving, not toward circular idealism, but toward biography, he states: "Men also are representative: first of things, and secondly, of ideas." Emerson identifies in each of his figures some permanent quality of the human mind. He is also a prestructuralist in that he believes that the world people make and inhabit is determined partly or even largely by the structure of the human mind. "Our colossal theologies of Judaism, Christism, Buddhism, Mahometism are the necessary and structural action of the human mind." It follows from this that our reading is a process of recognizing our own thoughts, or capabilities for thought and imagination, in the work and lives of others. Emerson sums this up concisely. "The possibility of interpretation lies in the identity of the observer with the observed." The democratic aesthetic also follows from this. "As to what we call the masses, and common men,--there are no common men. All men are at last of a size; and true art is only possible on the conviction that every talent has its apotheosis somewhere."


The poet essay by emerson College paper Academic Writing Service

I have recently read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, Self –Reliance, and have many different thoughts about the essay....

Emerson answered the common criticism of nonresistance evento the extent of not defending oneself or one's family againstrobbers and assassins. This, he said, only looks at the passiveside of the friend of peace. Lovers of peace obviously do notchoose to be plundered or slain; if they accept martyrdom, itis for


Rumi and Emerson: A Bridge Between the West and the …

The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836) In his essay, "Nature", Ralph Waldo Emerson describes man's relationship to nature and to God....

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Emerson uses this technique to craft a spiritual essay that pushes the reader to see the universe from a different perspective, and to tear away from the social norms of what is expected of religion to follow his or her own path....

The Postmodern Everyday-Emerson and Wittgenstein - …

Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts on July12, 1817 and died there peacefully on May 6, 1862. He was educatedat Harvard (1833-37) where he developed his love for Greek andRoman poetry, Oriental philosophy, and botany. He earned his livingdoing odd jobs, teaching school, and making lead pencils. He spentlittle time working at these though; having few wants, he madefree time his greatest wealth. He loved nature, and his preoccupationfour hours each day was exploring the woods and ponds making detailedobservations of plants and creatures. Emerson was his close friend,and he lived in Emerson's house for a time. Henry led a singularlife, never marrying, and marching to his own drummer, as he putit.