The Poem I would have Writ

"My life has been the poem I would have writ, 
But I could not both live and utter it."

Henry David Thoreau

Born July 12, 1817

Comments 2

 
Rosy Cole on Thursday, 13 July 2017 16:41

Well, if that's not a cop-out, I don't know what is :-) I sometimes wonder if Thoreau actually expected to be taken as a serious writer. Where would he have been without the company he kept (and was quite keen to abandon)?

Well, if that's not a cop-out, I don't know what is :-) I sometimes wonder if Thoreau actually expected to be taken as a serious writer. Where would he have been without the company he kept (and was quite keen to abandon)?
Stephen Evans on Friday, 14 July 2017 01:55

Maybe it is an excuse :) though I tend to read is more as frustration with the choice between being in life and standing outside it to write about it. then again there is Wordsworth emotion recalled in tranquility - the tranquility happens after the life.

I don;t know what Thoreau thought of himself as a writer - he certainly took it seriously. During his life, I get the impression those around him thought he never quite lived up to his promise. Walden I have always thought the best prose of the Nineteenth century. or at least my favorite. haven't read it in a few years though - probably should give it another try. I did read The Maine Woods more recently - wasn't quite as 'transcendent'.

Maybe it is an excuse :) though I tend to read is more as frustration with the choice between being in life and standing outside it to write about it. then again there is Wordsworth emotion recalled in tranquility - the tranquility happens after the life. I don;t know what Thoreau thought of himself as a writer - he certainly took it seriously. During his life, I get the impression those around him thought he never quite lived up to his promise. Walden I have always thought the best prose of the Nineteenth century. or at least my favorite. haven't read it in a few years though - probably should give it another try. I did read The Maine Woods more recently - wasn't quite as 'transcendent'.
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