The Rhodora Criticism

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John Jay Chapman, whose admiration of Emerson did not prevent him from offering unflattering criticism of his poetry, nonetheless considered "The Rhodora" to be among "that class of poetry which . . . is poetry because it is the perfection of statement." Whether or not one agrees with the poet's sentiment is irrelevant, Chapman appears to say; the piece itself is so finely composed and its argument so convincingly made, that it must be admired. This poem is also a fine example of what Chapman was referring to when he said,

[Emerson's] worship of the New England landscape
amounts to a religion. His poems do that most wonderful
thing, make us feel that we are alone in the
fields and with the trees,—not English fields nor
French lanes, but New England meadows and
uplands.




Bliss Perry, in his 1931 essay titled "The Mystic and the Poet," notes that "The Rhodora" is...

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This section contains 513 words
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Poetry for Students
The Rhodora from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.