Ralph Waldo Emerson
Generally known for his leadership in the movement of Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson was a gifted lecturer, essayist and poet. He provided inspiration for the transcendentalists of the 1800's, and even the ones who keep the spirit of transcendentalism alive today. Such followers were Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Nature, one of his more famous works, was based on his beliefs about religion, philosophy, and literature. He believed that if man would become one with nature, he would find true happiness with himself.
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An Excerpt from
Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball-I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me-I am part or particle of God.The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances-master or servant, is then a trifle, and a disturbance. I am a lover of uncontained and immortal beauty.
In the wilderness, I have something more connate and dear than in the streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.
The water understands
It wets my foot, but prettily
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted
It is not broken-hearted
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Here are some links more detailed Ralph Waldo Emerson pages:
An opinion and biography of Emerson
A Study of Emerson
A short but informative biography
A Biography including chronology, photos, and family
Ralph Waldo Emerson: 1803 - 1882
Ralph Waldo Emerson's Quotes
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