An imaginative book renders us much more service at first, by stimulating us through its tropes, than afterward, when we arrive at the precise sense of the author. For we do not speak now of men of poetical talents, or of industry and skill in metre, but of the true poet. That will reconcile me to life, and renovate nature, to see trifles animated by a tendency, and to know what I am doing. Such satisfaction is a product of a particular harmony between man's inner processes and the outer world. We hear, through all the varied music, the ground-tone of conventional life. Ralph Waldo Emerson The Apology Think me not unkind and rude, That I walk alone in grove and glen; I go to the god of the wood To fetch his word to men. They give and take no pledge or oath,Nature is the bond of both.
The word unto the prophet spoken 55 Was writ on tables yet unbroken; The word by seers or sibyls told In groves of oak or fanes of gold Still floats upon the morning wind Still whispers to the willing mind. This second edition was printed from the plates of the collection Nature; Addresses, and Lectures, published by Munroe in September 1849. Our logrolling, our stumps and their politics, our fisheries, our Negroes, and Indians, our boats, and our repudiations, the wrath of rogues, and the pusillanimity of honest men, the northern trade, the southern planting, the western clearing, Oregon, and Texas, are yet unsung. Over every thing stands its daemon, or soul, and, as the form of the thing is reflected by the eye, so the soul of the thing is reflected by a melody. 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. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve with a lemon twist.
He knows why the plain, or meadow of space, was strown with these flowers we call suns, and moons, and stars; why the great deep is adorned with animals, with men, and gods; for, in every word he speaks he rides on them as the horses of thought. The figs become grapes whilst he eats them. Set not thy foot on graves; Nor seek to unwind the shroud Which charitable time And nature have allowed To wrap the errors of a sage sublime. Notwithstanding this necessity to be published, adequate expression is rare. As an expression of nature, humanity, too, has its educational use in the progression toward understanding higher truth. He does not stand out of our low limitations, like a Chimborazo under the line, running up from the torrid base through all the climates of the globe, with belts of the herbage of every latitude on its high and mottled sides; but this genius is the landscape garden of a modern house, adorned with fountains and statues, with well-bred men and women standing and sitting in the walks and terraces.
The inaccessibleness of every thought but that we are in, is wonderful. Words and deeds are quite indifferent modes of the divine energy. Chide me not, laborious band, For the idle flowers I brought; Every aster in my hand Goes home loaded with a thought. Nature is divided into an introduction and eight chapters. Unity is even more apparent in action than in thought, which is expressed only imperfectly through language.
Sing whatever songs are sung,Wind whatever wreath,For a playmate perished young,For a spirit spent in death. Human intellectual processes are, of necessity, expressed through language, which in its primal form was integrally connected to nature. Scientific studies focussing upon the health of the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay have demonstrated that sedimentation of these particles is threatening seagrass meadows in the Bay, with corresponding impacts on Bay ecology and specific species such as dugong, green sea turtles and fisheries. The breadth of the problem is great, for the poet is representative. Then he is apprised, with wonder, what herds of daemons hem him in.
To each they offer gifts after his will 5 Bread kingdoms stars and sky that holds them all. For all symbols are fluxional; all language is vehicular and transitive, and is good, as ferries and horses are, for conveyance, not as farms and houses are, for homestead. He does not uniformly approve of the position assigned to nature by each of these disciplines, but nevertheless finds that they all express an idealistic approach to one degree or another. But intuitive reason works against the unquestioned acceptance of concrete reality as the ultimate reality. The inaccessibleness of every thought but that we are in, is wonderful. Too feeble fall the impressions of nature on us to make us artists.
It is important to distinguish, in the last lines of the poem, the way that the artists perceives her, from the way she actually is. And now my chains are to be broken; I shall mount above these clouds and opaque airs in which I live,—opaque, though they seem transparent,—and from the heaven of truth I shall see and comprehend my relations. I have been painting for some time. You make a poem by metaphor alliteration and brain. Man apprehends wholeness in the multiplicity of natural forms and conveys these forms in their totality. He first states that words represent particular facts in nature, which exists in part to give us language to express ourselves.
In its fidelity to its divine origin and its constant illumination of spirit and of the absolute, nature allows satisfaction of this condition. Time and nature yield us many gifts, but not yet the timely man, the new religion, the reconciler, whom all things await. 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. Alas, that neither bonds nor vowsCan certify possession;Torments me still the fear that loveDied in its last expression. No requests for explanation or general short comments allowed.
The poet sees nature as fluid and malleable, as raw material to shape to his own expressive purposes. Emerson concludes Nature optimistically and affirmatively. This day shall be better than my birthday: then I became an animal: now I am invited into the science of the real. Boston seemed to be at twice the distance it had the night before, or was much farther than that. But leaving these victims of vanity, let us, with new hope, observe how nature, by worthier impulses, has ensured the poet's fidelity to his office of announcement and affirming, namely, by the beauty of things, which becomes a new, and higher beauty, when expressed. Society seemed to be compromised. Wherever the life is, that bursts into appearance around it.
Witness the ciderbarrel, the log cabin, the hickory-stick, the palmetto, and all the cognizances of party. What a joyful sense of freedom we have, when Vitruvius announces the old opinion of artists, that no architect can build any house well, who does not know something of anatomy. This is the screen and sheath in which Pan has protected his well-beloved flower, and thou shalt be known only to thine own, and they shall console thee with tenderest love. Secondly, nature works together with the spiritual element in man to enhance the nobility of virtuous and heroic human actions. The expression is organic, or, the new type which things themselves take when liberated. It reinvigorates the overworked, and imparts a sense of well-being and of communion with the universe. If we filled the day with bravery, we should not shrink from celebrating it.