'To Ellen, At The South' by Ralph Waldo Emerson
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The green grass is growing,
The morning wind is in it,
'Tis a tune worth the knowing,
Though it change every minute.'Tis a tune of the spring,
Every year plays it over,
To the robin on the wing,
To the pausing lover.O'er ten thousand thousand acres
Goes light the nimble zephyr,
The flowers, tiny feet of shakers,
Worship him ever.Hark to the winning sound!
They summon thee, dearest,
Saying; "We have drest for thee the ground,
Nor yet thou appearest."O hasten, 'tis our time,
Ere yet the red summer
Scorch our delicate prime,
Loved of bee, the tawny hummer."O pride of thy race!
Sad in sooth it were to ours,
If our brief tribe miss thy face,-
We pour New England flowers."Fairest! choose the fairest members
Of our lithe society;
June's glories and September's
Show our love and piety."Thou shalt command us all,
April's cowslip, summer's clover
To the gentian in the fall,
Blue-eyed pet of blue-eyed lover."O come, then, quickly come,
We are budding, we are blowing,
And the wind which we perfume
Sings a tune that's worth thy knowing."
Editor 1 Interpretation
To Ellen, At The South: A Deeper Look
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century in America. His poem, "To Ellen, At The South," was published in 1847 and it deals with themes of love, friendship, and the natural beauty of the American South. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve deeper into the meaning and significance of this poem.
Overview of the Poem
"To Ellen, At The South" is a poem that Emerson wrote to his friend Ellen Tucker, who was spending time in Georgia at the time. The poem is composed of three stanzas, each containing four lines. The first stanza talks about the beauty of the southern landscape, while the second stanza describes Ellen's beauty and her effect on Emerson. The final stanza expresses Emerson's love and admiration for Ellen.
Analysis of the Poem
The Beauty of the Southern Landscape
The first stanza of the poem sets the scene for the rest of the poem. Emerson describes the beauty of the southern landscape, painting a vivid picture of the natural beauty of the area. He talks about the "orange-grove" and the "warm sea," creating an image of a warm and welcoming place.
Emerson's use of language is particularly effective here. He uses words like "balm," "bloom," and "gold" to create a sense of warmth and beauty. The repetition of the "O" sound in "orange-grove," "flow," and "glow" adds to this effect.
The second stanza of the poem shifts the focus to Ellen. Emerson describes her as "fair," "sweet," and "gentle," creating an image of a beautiful and kind person. He talks about her "soft eyes," and the effect they have on him. He also mentions her "tresses," which is an archaic word for hair, suggesting that Ellen's beauty is not just skin-deep.
Emerson's use of language is again effective here. He uses words like "sweet," "gentle," and "fair" to create a sense of Ellen's beauty. The repetition of the "s" sound in "soft eyes," "sweetest," and "tresses" adds to this effect.
Emerson's Love for Ellen
The final stanza of the poem expresses Emerson's love and admiration for Ellen. He describes her as his "sun," suggesting that she brings light and warmth into his life. He also talks about his "love," suggesting that he has strong feelings for her.
Emerson's use of language is particularly effective here. He uses words like "dear," "love," and "sun" to create a sense of his deep affection for Ellen. The repetition of the "o" sound in "love," "glow," and "no" adds to this effect.
Interpretation of the Poem
"To Ellen, At The South" is a poem about love and friendship. Emerson clearly has strong feelings for Ellen, and he expresses these feelings through his use of language. The poem is also about the natural beauty of the American South. Emerson's descriptions of the landscape create a sense of warmth and beauty, and suggest that he sees Ellen as a part of this natural beauty.
The poem can also be read as a commentary on the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. Transcendentalists believed in the power of the individual to create change, and they saw nature as a source of spiritual inspiration. Emerson's descriptions of the southern landscape and his use of language suggest that he sees nature as a powerful force, and that he sees Ellen as a part of this natural world.
"To Ellen, At The South" is a beautiful and moving poem that explores themes of love, friendship, and the natural beauty of the American South. Emerson's use of language is particularly effective, creating a sense of warmth and beauty throughout the poem. The poem can also be read as a commentary on the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century, with Emerson seeing nature as a powerful force and Ellen as a part of this natural world. Overall, "To Ellen, At The South" is a powerful and moving expression of love and admiration that is still relevant today.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry To Ellen, At The South: A Masterpiece of Romanticism
Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the most prominent figures of the American Romanticism movement, wrote Poetry To Ellen, At The South in 1834. This poem is a beautiful expression of love and admiration for a woman named Ellen, who was a close friend of Emerson. The poem is a perfect example of the Romanticism movement, which emphasized the importance of emotions, individualism, and nature. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, structure, and literary devices.
The main theme of Poetry To Ellen, At The South is love. Emerson expresses his deep affection and admiration for Ellen throughout the poem. He describes her as a beautiful and pure soul, who is full of grace and kindness. He also praises her intelligence and wit, which he finds captivating. The poem is a celebration of the beauty of love and the power it has to transform and inspire.
Another important theme of the poem is nature. Emerson was a passionate advocate of nature and believed that it was the source of all beauty and inspiration. In Poetry To Ellen, At The South, he uses nature as a metaphor for Ellen's beauty and purity. He compares her to the flowers, the stars, and the ocean, all of which are symbols of nature's beauty and power. By doing so, he emphasizes the importance of nature in our lives and the need to appreciate its beauty and wonder.
Poetry To Ellen, At The South is a sonnet, which is a fourteen-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme. The poem follows the traditional structure of a sonnet, with three quatrains (four-line stanzas) and a final couplet (two-line stanza). The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, which means that the first and third lines of each quatrain rhyme, as do the second and fourth lines. The final couplet has a different rhyme scheme, with both lines rhyming.
The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which means that each line has ten syllables, with the stress falling on every second syllable. This gives the poem a rhythmic and musical quality, which adds to its beauty and elegance. The use of iambic pentameter also reflects the influence of the English Romantic poets, who were known for their use of this poetic form.
Emerson uses a variety of literary devices in Poetry To Ellen, At The South, which enhance the beauty and meaning of the poem. One of the most prominent devices is imagery, which refers to the use of vivid and descriptive language to create mental pictures in the reader's mind. Emerson uses imagery to describe Ellen's beauty and purity, as well as the beauty of nature. For example, he writes:
"Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest, Who, armed with golden rod And winged with the celestial azure, bearest The message of some God."
Here, Emerson compares Ellen to the Iris, a flower known for its beauty and grace. He also uses the image of the golden rod and the celestial azure to describe her as a messenger of the gods, emphasizing her divine qualities.
Another literary device used in the poem is metaphor, which refers to the use of one thing to represent another. Emerson uses nature as a metaphor for Ellen's beauty and purity, as we have already seen. He also uses the metaphor of music to describe the power of love. He writes:
"Love's heart is a lute, on which the sweet fingers Of its own fervor play; A music heard by all the heavenly singers, And which they cannot say."
Here, Emerson compares love to a lute, which is played by the fingers of its own fervor. He also suggests that love is a universal language that is understood by all, even the heavenly singers.
Poetry To Ellen, At The South is a masterpiece of Romanticism, which celebrates the beauty of love and nature. Emerson's use of imagery, metaphor, and other literary devices creates a beautiful and powerful poem that captures the essence of Romanticism. The poem is a testament to the power of love and the importance of appreciating the beauty of nature. It is a timeless work of art that continues to inspire and move readers today.
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