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Henry David Thoreau: Walden - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Date: Henry David Thoreau: Walden Emerson lists several qualities of being a poet. These qualities explain that the poet is a representative, a ‘namer’ of things, a language maker and, even a liberating god! However, for purposes of this paper, we shall go with the first definition…
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Henry David Thoreau: Walden

Download file to see previous pages... Nobody has done that better than Thoreau. Also, the two writers were great friends (Mersand 59). It is possible that some of the conclusions drawn about ‘The Poet’ are as a result of Emerson observing Thoreau. It is also right to say that both poets passed on these characteristics onto one another in the course of their interactions. This makes it extremely necessary to study them as a single unit. Emerson points out several qualities of being a poet. The top most quality is that the poet is not selfish. Poets are portrayed to be different from other ordinary artists’ who are selfish and sensual. Ordinary artists prefer to make judgments’ even when they are removed from the phenomena they wish to describe. On the contrary, this is not the case with poets who form the center of this inquiry. I have settled on Henry David Thoreau and his work Walden. This is because of the significance of peaceful co-existence with nature and the environment that it has gained today. From the outset, it is a bit too obvious that Henry David Thoreau was an extremely unselfish poet. He had to move out of a comfortable home into the woods. The poem illustrates how the persona (the poet) moved one mile from his neighbor into the woods on to the shores of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts. He lived there for two years and two months earning a living by working hard. Thoreau vividly describes his outing in the woods in Walden. He clearly underwent great material deprivation normally associated with comfort. For him, this is the best kind of comfort he could find. He wanted to be one with nature. Thoreau in the chapter economy explicates in details how he lived in such punishing circumstances. The poet as a representative has already been said to be isolated from contemporaries, by truth and art. This is the case in Walden. Henry David Thoreau details his reasons for going into the woods as follows. He explains that he went into the forest because he wished to have a deliberate life, so that he would only front the important aspects of life. This is an ideal poet according to Emerson’s description. In addition to this, Thoreau sets forth his solitary mission in ‘Solitude’. He explicates that men on many occasions asked him whether he felt lonely inside the woods and wanted to be near people during the snowy, rainy days and nights. He answers them in the form of a question, “Why should I feel lonely?” He poses this question and challenges people into his line of thought his mission was one for mankind, and that he was to find secrets of the woods since he was a representative of every man out there (Mersand 79). As representatives of the human race, poets are also said to have conversations with nature. In Walden, specifically in the topic ‘From the Bean-Field’, Thoreau details his interactions with plants. He poses the question, “What shall I learn of beans and beans of me?” He was determined to know beans. He even details his curious and intimate acquaintances with various kinds of weeds. He clearly gives the impression that he is not just on a journey through the woods, but rather on a study trip. He also treats the plants with great care. He talks of his sense of guilt for disturbing the delicate organization of the weeds. He did not want to make invidious distinctions with his hoe. The verbs used in this instance are poignant. According to Emerson, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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