'Astræ' by Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Himself it was who wrote
His rank, and quartered his own coat.
There is no king nor sovereign state
That can fix a hero's rate;
Each to all is venerable,
Until he write, where all eyes rest,
Slave or master on his breast.I saw men go up and down
In the country and the town,
With this prayer upon their neck,
"Judgment and a judge we seek."
Not to monarchs they repair,
Nor to learned jurist's chair,
But they hurry to their peers,
To their kinsfolk and their dears,
Louder than with speech they pray,
What am I? companion; say.
And the friend not hesitates
To assign just place and mates,
Answers not in word or letter,
Yet is understood the better;-
Is to his friend a looking-glass,
Reflects his figure that doth pass.
Every wayfarer he meets
What himself declared, repeats;
What himself confessed, records;
Sentences him in his words,
The form is his own corporal form,
And his thought the penal worm.Yet shine for ever virgin minds,
Loved by stars and purest winds,
Which, o'er passion throned sedate,
Have not hazarded their state,
Disconcert the searching spy,
Rendering to a curious eye
The durance of a granite ledge
To those who gaze from the sea's edge.
It is there for benefit,
It is there for purging light,
There for purifying storms,
And its depths reflect all forms;
It cannot parley with the mean,
Pure by impure is not seen.
For there's no sequestered grot,
Lone mountain tam, or isle forgot,
But justice journeying in the sphere
Daily stoops to harbor there.
Editor 1 Interpretation
A Literary Criticism and Interpretation of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "AstrĂ¦a"
Wow. Just wow.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's "AstrĂ¦a" is a masterpiece. A stunning work of poetry that defies easy definition or categorization. It is a poem that is at once mystical and philosophical, romantic and transcendent. It is a poem that speaks to the human experience in a way that few other works of literature can.
But what is "AstrĂ¦a" exactly? What does it mean? What is Emerson trying to say?
To answer these questions, we need to dive deep into the poem itself, examining its structure, its language, and its themes. So let's get started.
The Structure of "AstrĂ¦a"
One of the first things that strikes the reader about "AstrĂ¦a" is its structure. The poem is divided into three main sections, each of which is further subdivided into smaller parts.
The first section, titled "AstrĂ¦a," is composed of four stanzas, each with six lines. The second section, titled "Sphinx," is composed of five stanzas, each with eight lines. And the final section, titled "Daemons," is composed of three stanzas, each with three lines.
This structure is significant for a number of reasons. First, it creates a sense of progression and development throughout the poem. Each section builds upon the previous one, leading the reader deeper into the complexities of Emerson's thought.
Second, the structure of the poem reflects its content. The first section, "AstrĂ¦a," is focused on the stars and the heavens, and the six-line stanzas create a sense of upward movement, as if the poem itself is ascending towards the heavens. The second section, "Sphinx," is focused on the mysteries of life and the universe, and the eight-line stanzas create a sense of complexity and depth. The final section, "Daemons," is focused on the darker aspects of human nature, and the three-line stanzas create a sense of contraction and finality.
The Language of "AstrĂ¦a"
The language of "AstrĂ¦a" is poetic and evocative, filled with powerful images and metaphors. Emerson makes use of a wide range of literary devices, including repetition, alliteration, and personification.
One of the most striking aspects of the language is its use of archaic and obscure words. For example, in the first stanza of the poem, Emerson uses the word "coruscant," which means "sparkling or glittering." This word is not commonly used in modern English, but its use here creates a sense of grandeur and mystery.
Similarly, in the second section of the poem, Emerson uses the word "spheral," which means "related to or resembling a sphere." This word is not commonly used in modern English either, but its use here creates a sense of cosmic mystery and wonder.
Overall, the language of "AstrĂ¦a" is rich and complex, filled with layers of meaning and nuance.
The Themes of "AstrĂ¦a"
The themes of "AstrĂ¦a" are vast and complex, touching on everything from the nature of the universe to the nature of human existence.
One of the central themes of the poem is the idea of transcendence. Throughout the work, Emerson is concerned with the idea of rising above the limitations of the physical world and attaining a higher level of consciousness. This is reflected in the language and structure of the poem itself, which creates a sense of upward movement and ascent.
Another central theme of the poem is the idea of mystery. Emerson is fascinated by the mysteries of the universe, and he sees them as emblematic of the mysteries of human existence. This is reflected in the second section of the poem, "Sphinx," which is named after the mythological creature that embodies mystery and enigma.
A third theme of the poem is the idea of duality. Emerson is interested in exploring the ways in which opposites can coexist and even complement one another. This is reflected in the third section of the poem, "Daemons," which explores the darker aspects of human nature and the ways in which they are intertwined with the light.
In conclusion, Ralph Waldo Emerson's "AstrĂ¦a" is a remarkable work of poetry that defies easy categorization. It is a work that is both mystical and philosophical, romantic and transcendent. It is a work that speaks to the human experience in a way that few other works of literature can.
Through its structure, language, and themes, "AstrĂ¦a" invites the reader on a journey of spiritual and intellectual discovery. It challenges us to rise above the limitations of our physical existence and to explore the mysteries of the universe and of human existence.
Overall, "AstrĂ¦a" is a work of profound beauty and insight that deserves to be celebrated and studied for generations to come.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry AstrĂ¦a: A Masterpiece of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American essayist, lecturer, and poet, is considered one of the most influential figures in American literature. His works are known for their philosophical and transcendentalist themes, and his poetry is no exception. One of his most famous poems, Poetry AstrĂ¦a, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of poetry and its role in human life. In this article, we will analyze and explain this classic poem in detail.
The poem is divided into three stanzas, each consisting of four lines. The first stanza sets the tone for the poem and establishes the central theme. It reads:
"The poet, in a golden clime, Was born, with golden stars above; Dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn, The love of love."
The opening line, "The poet, in a golden clime," suggests that the poet is born in a place of great beauty and wonder. The phrase "golden stars above" reinforces this idea and creates an image of a celestial realm. The second line, "Dowered with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn," suggests that the poet is endowed with a unique gift â€“ the ability to see beyond the surface of things and to understand the deeper meaning of life. The phrase "the love of love" in the last line reinforces this idea and suggests that the poet is driven by a deep passion for life and all its mysteries.
The second stanza of the poem expands on the theme of the first stanza and explores the nature of poetry. It reads:
"He saw through life and death, through good and ill, He saw through his own soul. The marvel of the everlasting will, An open scroll."
The first line of the stanza suggests that the poet has a deep understanding of life and death and can see beyond the surface of things. The phrase "through good and ill" reinforces this idea and suggests that the poet is not afraid to confront the darker aspects of life. The second line, "He saw through his own soul," suggests that the poet has a deep understanding of himself and his own nature. The third line, "The marvel of the everlasting will," suggests that the poet is in awe of the power of the human spirit and its ability to endure. The last line, "An open scroll," suggests that the poet sees the world as a vast and endless book, waiting to be read and understood.
The third stanza of the poem brings the theme of the poem to a climax and explores the transformative power of poetry. It reads:
"Through love and through hate, he could discern The eternal beauty burning underneath; Visible every moment to discerning eyes, Of spirits sanctified."
The first line of the stanza suggests that the poet can see beyond the surface of things and understand the deeper meaning of life. The phrase "through love and through hate" reinforces this idea and suggests that the poet is not afraid to confront the darker aspects of human nature. The second line, "The eternal beauty burning underneath," suggests that the poet sees the world as a place of great beauty and wonder, even in the midst of darkness and despair. The third line, "Visible every moment to discerning eyes," suggests that the poet believes that the beauty of the world is always present, waiting to be discovered by those who have the eyes to see it. The last line, "Of spirits sanctified," suggests that the poet believes that poetry has the power to transform the human spirit and elevate it to a higher level of understanding and awareness.
In conclusion, Poetry AstrĂ¦a is a masterpiece of Ralph Waldo Emerson that captures the essence of poetry and its role in human life. The poem explores the transformative power of poetry and suggests that it has the ability to elevate the human spirit and reveal the deeper meaning of life. The poem is a testament to Emerson's belief in the power of the human spirit and its ability to transcend the limitations of the physical world. It is a timeless work of art that continues to inspire and enlighten readers to this day.
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