Emerson Essay The Poet Summary

Emerson Essay The Poet Summary-48
In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret.

In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we study to utter our painful secret.

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He is isolated among his contemporaries, by truth and by his art, but with this consolation in his pursuits, that they will draw all men sooner or later.

For all men live by truth, and stand in need of expression.

In it, Emerson describes how the poet is “representative,” standing “among partial men for the complete man.” The only one capable of articulating the transcendent nature of things, the poet is the one who can identify “symbols” and “emblems” of the world: “The world is a temple, whose walls are covered with emblems, pictures, and commandments of the Deity . Emerson writes that the poet has better perceptions than the rest of humanity, “he stands one step nearer to things, and sees the flowing of metamorphosis . Those who are esteemed umpires of taste, are often persons who have acquired some knowledge of admired pictures or sculptures, and have an inclination for whatever is elegant; but if you inquire whether they are beautiful souls, and whether their own acts are like fair pictures, you learn that they are selfish and sensual.

Their cultivation is local, as if you should rub a log of dry wood in one spot to produce fire, all the rest remaining cold.

He left the church after the death of his first wife to tuberculosis, when he coincidentally experienced a crisis of faith in which he questioned the ceremonies of the church service.

A reader of poetry and philosophy, Emerson toured Europe after his wife’s death; in Europe he met William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle.

After Emerson returned to New England in 1833, he gave public lectures on cultural topics, bought a house in Concord, Massachusetts, and married Lydia Jackson.

The couple had four children, the first of whom died of scarlet fever in 1842.

This, of course, does not endear the poet or any other artist to their contemporaries; indeed, it often further isolates them in their sensibilities and their art.

In speaking his or her own truth, the poet draws on signs and symbols from nature—from anywhere whether the source be cosmic or comic.


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