Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - The Poet Summary & Analysis

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The Poet Summary and Analysis

Too often, Emerson observes, the "umpires of taste" can judge and categorize art and literature, and speak at length on esthetics although their own lives are "selfish and sensual." The poet, rather than the critic, is one who can see though appearances, trends, poses, fads and vanities to seize life by the throat and utter words of unvarnished truth and wisdom, according to Emerson. This, of course, does not endear the poet or any other artist to their contemporaries; indeed, it often further isolates them in their sensibilities and their art. In speaking his or her own truth, the poet draws on signs and symbols from nature—from anywhere whether the source be cosmic or comic. The essential job of the poet is to write the truth as they experience it, Emerson says. This, then, can provide a...

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This section contains 279 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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