Ralph Waldon Emerson Poetry

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Poetry Anthology Afterword
Alicia Martin-Vega
2/23/13
As we grow up, we are exposed to countless paths that we can follow. These paths are filled with beliefs and experiences that make us who we are in the end. My anthology highlights the path of one passionate man, Ralph Waldo Emerson took. The specific poems I will be addressing by him; “The Snow-Storm”, “Brahma” and “Days” are just a few out of the various paths Emerson followed.

The first poem I will be addressing is “The Snow-Storm”, this poem is expressing the transcendentalist journey that Emerson experienced. He believes that, God does not have to reveal the truth but that the truth could be experienced directly from nature. This idea is specifically referenced in the lines, “Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven” (3-4). The poem also speaks of the power of the snowstorm and nature in general. The snow is a creative force that leaves behind wonderful works of art of those who observe, but it is also a destructive force for those who are misled by its ability to disuse. We need to be able to see beyond the illusions the snowstorm creates in order to be illuminated rather than blinded. It goes on to say, “And when his hours are numbered, and the world, Is all his own, retiring, as he were not, Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone” (23-26). These lines explain the symbolism with the sun and how it “retires” the snow. The observer/poet admires the work of art but knows that he has a lot more to discover.

The second poem portrays an interesting path that Emerson experienced. “Brahma” reveals the Hindu version of transcendentalism and the divine relationship and continuity of life and the unity of the universe. In the first stanza, Emerson expresses the continuity of life. He says that if a killer thinks he has killed another or if the dead think that they are truly well, they do not fully realize his...
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