'Fate' by Ralph Waldo Emerson
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That you are fair or wise is vain,
Or strong, or rich, or generous;
You must have also the untaught strain
That sheds beauty on the rose.
There is a melody born of melody,
Which melts the world into a sea.
Toil could never compass it,
Art its height could never hit,
It came never out of wit,
But a music music-born
Well may Jove and Juno scorn.
Thy beauty, if it lack the fire
Which drives me mad with sweet desire,
What boots it? what the soldier's mail,
Unless he conquer and prevail?
What all the goods thy pride which lift,
If thou pine for another's gift?
Alas! that one is born in blight,
Victim of perpetual slight;—
When thou lookest in his face,
Thy heart saith, Brother! go thy ways!
None shall ask thee what thou doest,
Or care a rush for what thou knowest,
Or listen when thou repliest,
Or remember where thou liest,
Or how thy supper is sodden,—
And another is born
To make the sun forgotten.
Surely he carries a talisman
Under his tongue;
Broad are his shoulders, and strong,
And his eye is scornful,
Threatening, and young.
I hold it of little matter,
Whether your jewel be of pure water,
A rose diamond or a white,—
But whether it dazzle me with light.
I care not how you are drest,
In the coarsest, or in the best,
Nor whether your name is base or brave,
Nor tor the fashion of your behavior,—
But whether you charm me,
Bid my bread feed, and my fire warm me,
And dress up nature in your favor.
One thing is forever good,
That one thing is success,—
Dear to the Eumenides,
And to all the heavenly brood.
Who bides at home, nor looks abroad,
Carries the eagles, and masters the sword.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Fate by Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Deeper Dive into the Poem
Are you looking for a poem that will shake the very core of your being? Then Fate by Ralph Waldo Emerson is the perfect poem for you. This is a poem that has stood the test of time, and it is still as relevant today as it was when it was written in 1860.
Emerson is a master of words, and his keen understanding of the human condition is on full display in this poem. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will take a deeper dive into the poem and try to understand its meaning, symbolism, and significance.
Summary of the Poem
Fate is a poem about the power of fate and how it shapes our lives. Emerson starts the poem by questioning the existence of fate and whether it is real or just a figment of our imagination. He then goes on to explore how fate influences our lives and how we can use it to our advantage.
The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with its own unique message. In the first stanza, Emerson talks about the power of fate and how it controls our destiny. He asks whether we are just mere pawns in the hands of fate or if we have the power to shape our own destiny.
In the second stanza, Emerson explores the idea of predestination and how it affects our lives. He talks about how our actions today can shape our future and how we can use our knowledge of fate to create the future we desire.
Finally, in the third stanza, Emerson talks about the power of the present moment and how we can use it to our advantage. He urges us to live in the moment and to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way.
Analysis of the Poem
Now that we have a general understanding of the poem, let's take a closer look at its meaning, symbolism, and significance.
At its core, Fate is a poem about the power of fate and how it shapes our lives. Emerson explores the idea of whether we have control over our lives or whether we are at the mercy of fate.
Throughout the poem, Emerson uses words and phrases that suggest a sense of inevitability. He talks about "the iron string" that "vibrates to the tone of the spirit" and how "the thread on which the beads are strung doth run / Through all the universe". These phrases suggest that fate is an all-encompassing force that we cannot escape.
However, despite the sense of inevitability, Emerson also suggests that we have some control over our lives. He talks about how our actions today can shape our future and how we can use our knowledge of fate to create the future we desire.
Emerson uses several symbols throughout the poem to convey his message. One of the most prominent symbols is the thread that runs through the universe. This thread represents Fate and how it connects everything in the universe.
Another symbol that Emerson uses is the loom. He talks about how Fate weaves our lives like a loom weaves a tapestry. This symbol suggests that our lives are predetermined, but we can still make choices that affect the final outcome.
Finally, Emerson uses the image of the river to symbolize the flow of time. He talks about how the river of time never stops flowing and how we must make the most of every moment.
Fate is a poem that is still relevant today because it speaks to the human condition. We all struggle with the idea of whether we have control over our lives or whether we are at the mercy of fate.
Emerson suggests that we have some control over our lives and that our actions today can shape our future. This message is still relevant today, and it is a reminder that we have the power to create the life we desire.
Fate by Ralph Waldo Emerson is a poem that has stood the test of time. It is a powerful reminder that we have the power to shape our lives, but we must also be mindful of the forces of fate that shape our destiny.
Emerson's use of symbolism and imagery creates a powerful image of the universe and our place in it. It is a poem that will make you question the very nature of existence and leave you with a sense of awe and wonder.
If you haven't read Fate by Ralph Waldo Emerson, then I highly recommend that you do. It is a poem that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Fate, a classic poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is a powerful and thought-provoking piece of literature that explores the concept of destiny and the role it plays in our lives. This poem is a perfect example of Emerson's transcendentalist philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of individualism, intuition, and the connection between humans and nature.
The poem begins with the line "Deep in the man sits fast his fate," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the piece. Emerson is suggesting that our destiny is an integral part of who we are, and that it is impossible to escape it. He goes on to describe fate as a "secret force" that guides us through life, even when we are unaware of its presence.
Emerson's use of language in this poem is particularly striking. He employs vivid imagery and metaphors to convey his message, such as when he describes fate as a "wilderness" that we must navigate. This metaphor suggests that our destiny is not always clear or easy to understand, and that we must be brave and resourceful in order to find our way through it.
Another powerful image in the poem is the idea of fate as a "silent seal" that is placed upon us at birth. This metaphor suggests that our destiny is predetermined, and that we have little control over it. However, Emerson also suggests that we can still find meaning and purpose in our lives, even if we cannot change our fate.
One of the most interesting aspects of Fate is the way that Emerson explores the relationship between fate and free will. He acknowledges that we have the ability to make choices and shape our own lives, but he also suggests that these choices are ultimately guided by our destiny. This idea is encapsulated in the line "Men are what their mothers made them," which suggests that our upbringing and environment play a significant role in shaping our destiny.
Emerson also touches on the idea of karma in this poem, suggesting that our actions have consequences that will ultimately shape our fate. He writes, "The dice of God are always loaded," suggesting that there is a higher power at work that is guiding our destiny and ensuring that we reap what we sow.
Overall, Fate is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores some of the most fundamental questions about the human experience. Emerson's use of language and imagery is masterful, and his ideas about destiny and free will are still relevant and thought-provoking today. Whether you believe in fate or not, this poem is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads it.
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