Emerson As A Poet Essay

1827 words - 7 pages

The American literature of the nineteenth century is characterised by a spirit of Romanticism. The years, from 1828 to 1865, from the Jacksosian era to the Civil War is called "the American Romantic Period." It was the era of the blossoming of a "distinctively American literature" (Abrams, page 206). Also known as the American Renaissance, this period was marked by eminent writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The age produced works of originality and excellence in all literary genres (except drama) not exceeded in quality by later American literature. This epoch in the history of American literature is also referred to as "the Age of Transcendentalism", after the literary and philosophical movement in New England, which revolved around the "most distinguished of the New England Transcendentalists"( Gerber, page 380)- Ralph Waldo Emerson. Apart from being a central exponent of Transcendentalism, Emerson was one of the most brilliant poets and thinkers of the nineteenth century America.

Edgar Allan Poe, John Greenleaf Whittier, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman were the prominent poets of the American Romantic Age. Emerson attitude to life and art was formed mainly from his readings of a variety of philosophical and religious texts. The major influences upon him were the religious thought of New England and related English works, Scottish realism, French and English skepticism, Neo-Platonism as interpreted by the English romantic poets and the German and French idealists, Oriental mystical writings and Yankee pragmatism. The English poets like Milton, Herbert and Donne influenced his use of words and symbols. These poets had made poetry a vehicle for re-establishing the power of God in the world.

Three basic ideas form the essence of Emerson's thought. They are the distinction between Reason and Understanding, the idea of emanation and the idea of immanence. The meaning of these ideas with respect to a man's life can be seen in Emerson's theory of the fall and recovery of man. The reading of Coleridge, especially his explanation of Platonic dualism and the distinction between the Reason and the Understanding transformed Emerson's way of thinking. From the various sources he formed an amalgamated philosophy- that of the Oversoul, or "the impersonal force that is eternal, moral, harmonious and beneficent in tendency" (Gerber, page 380). Emerson believed in a higher source of knowledge, accessible to man through his intuition.

Emerson used symbolism in his poetry. He comprehended that there are two levels of existence-the spiritual and physical levels of being- and the need for a balance between the two levels. To explain this contradiction Emerson used in his work, especially in his poetry oppositions such as One and Many, cause and effect, unity and diversity, object and its symbol, reality and appearance, truths and hypotheses,...

Find Another Essay On Emerson as a Poet

Description of Aga Shahid Ali as a Daisporic Poet

1881 words - 8 pages essentially is about settling down, about putting roots elsewhere (Brah 443). Aga Shahid Ali as a Diasporic writer: Aga Shahid Ali was born in 1949, the son of distinguished and highly educated family of Kashmir. He attended university of Kashmir, University of Delhi as well as Pennsylvania state university and university of Arizona. Though a Kashmiri Muslim, Ali is best known in the U.S and is identified more as an American poet writing in

A Qest for the Unknown: Kamala Das as a Poet of Body and Sexual Aspirations

1933 words - 8 pages A QUEST FOR THE UNKNOWN: KAMALA DAS AS A POET OF BODY AND SEXUAL ASPIRATIONS Sex has been one of the most pre-dominant themes in the works of Kamala Das. Time and again she exploits this theme in delineating the relationship between her male female characters. Unlike other Indian women writers, she does not resort to oblique or indirect reference to sex or love-making, rather takes up a bold and hitherto unexploited approach towards sex. As once

Early English Lyric poetry as a medium of the poet expressing himself.

1883 words - 8 pages soughtFair words enough a man shall findThey be good cheap; they cost right naught,Their substance is but only wind,But well to say and so to mean--That sweet accord is seldom seen.From this extract, the poet seeks to show the reader that words tend to pliable and accommodating. They are generally used for the benefit of the speaker and the listener. That is why some poetry was composed to impress the monarchs. The courtly lover is normally seen as

By making close reference to the war poems discuss how Owen saw his role as a poet during the war.

666 words - 3 pages , still warm, too hard to stir?Was it for this the clay grew tall?'Owen shows the futility of human life even by portraying the degradation of the soldiers, 'bodies without numbers', 'scum'. Moreover, in 'The Show' the soldiers are dehumanized, depicted as worms in a cannibalistic image. The poet expands the concept of futility to the extent of values. The truths become lies, death takes form in life and life takes form in death, and religious

Pushing Through a Hard Rain: Classification of Bob Dylan as a Poet through his song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"

1347 words - 5 pages with rhyme"(63) leads him to make bad rhymes that take away from the quality of the work. He stands firmly that Dylan is a songwriter and not a poet. I disagree. Based on the quality of the lyrics, Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" functions as great poetry.Dylan's lyrics for "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" qualify as great poetry due to the powerful use of imagery that evokes emotion. Western Wind by David Mason and John Frederick Nims

This a biographical essay on William DeWitt Snodgrass. It contains historical background, as well as discussion of an assortment of his works, and what influenced him as a writer and poet.

2117 words - 8 pages had established the workshop as one of the greatest if not the greatest of the time and their tutelage helped WD establish himself as a poet. (BTL) Snodgrass and his contemporaries utilized personal reflection within their work. His early works consisted of reflections on his divorce, betrayal, and the other "purgatories of life"(CAP). He was very much tired of the obscure symbolic poetry of his predecessors, and wanted to illuminate the struggles

Emerson Defines Beauty in The Poet

1542 words - 6 pages , and to the general aspect of the art in the present time (The Poet, 1647)." Furthermore, Emerson in this quote also states that the functions of the poet are beautiful because the inspiration of his writing comes from observing the wonders of the world and interaction of the people. Secondly, when he refers to himself as a man of Beauty makes you ask the question, well why is he a man of beauty? Emerson believes that he is due to the fact that

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1357 words - 5 pages Ralph Waldo Emerson was a famous American lecturer. He was also a great essayist and poet. His writings ( which were part of the transcendentalism movement ) influenced American literature.Ralp Emerson in a lot of cases is referred to as the leader in transcendentaism.Transcendentalism was a religous, literary, and philosophical movement that flourished between 1836 and 1844 ( " Ralph Emerson ",Encarta ). When Emerson's essay "Nature" was

Whitman's Interpretation of Emerson

909 words - 4 pages Poet" to springboard into something more expansive than Emerson was able to describe or create. Emerson states in his 15th principle in "The Poet" that "there is no fact in nature that does not carry the whole sense of nature." To elaborate this claim Emerson states, "the distinctions which we make …disappear when nature is used as a symbol. Thought makes everything fit for use,"(Emerson Principle 15). Emerson is seeing nature as being a

The Transcendentalist Movent and Ralph Waldo Emerson

2132 words - 9 pages (Cayton). He is the son of Ruth Haskins Emerson and William Emerson. He is the third son and has four other brothers. Ralph Waldo Emerson came from a long line of New England ministers. His father, William Emerson, also ministered for a living. Many expected Emerson to become a minister like his father, but he chose to follow a different career path. Ralph Waldo Emerson graduated from Harvard, where he later worked as a school teacher. He was also

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Trancendentalism

1183 words - 5 pages Ralph Waldo Emerson is known as the father of Transcendentalism, a philosophical movement based on feelings rather than logic, it is a movement for the nonconformists and unique thinkers. Transcendentalism’s main ideas are individualism, intuition, imagination, idealism, and inspiration. When Emerson created the movement in the nineteenth century he was a well known writer and is still today a prominent figure in American Literature

Similar Essays

Wordsworth As A Romantic Poet Essay

815 words - 3 pages As a Romantic poet, William Wordsworth valued the ideals of nature, the imagination, individualism and idealism. Literary texts composed during this time were characterised by a search for meaning through representations of the individual's relationship with the natural world, and the power of the imagination to inform, illuminate and transform human experience. Individualism was expressed through new ideas that challenged previous ways of

Wordsworth As A Romantic Poet Essay

815 words - 3 pages As a Romantic poet, William Wordsworth valued the ideals of nature, the imagination, individualism and idealism. Literary texts composed during this time were characterised by a search for meaning through representations of the individual's relationship with the natural world, and the power of the imagination to inform, illuminate and transform human experience. Individualism was expressed through new ideas that challenged previous ways of

Frosts Life As A Poet Essay

2458 words - 10 pages Robert Frost’s Life as a Poet Robert Lee Frost was born in San Francisco, California on March 26 of 1974 and died in Boston, Massachusetts on January 29 of 1963. Though he did not truly start publishing poems until age thirty-nine, Frost obtained four Pulitzer prizes in his writing career and was deemed one of the greatest twentieth century poets. His pastoral writing and skilled use of meter and rhythm has captured the attention of reader’s

Jane Austen's Life As A Poet

748 words - 3 pages . She even started a play about one of her relationships which she abandoned as she did the relationship. When Austen moved back to Steventon, her love life ended. Austen moved into her parents old house, and lived there until the days she died. Important Works Austen had many famous books, but not many people knew that she was also a poet. It is noticeable that all of her poems are written in letter format such as; "Oh! Mr. Best