David Thoreau 's Life And The Early Works Of The Poet

2145 Words Nov 18th, 2014 9 Pages
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” What some people may see as a simple inspirational quote from a long dead poet and writer is actually a statement of our own divinity which is the basis of Emerson’s beliefs and Transcendentalism. What is around us in the empirical world is not as important as the presence of God and the divine within us, but we can become closer to God by seeing him in the natural world. Emerson’s beliefs were influenced by many factors throughout his life. His Unitarian upbringing, education at Harvard Divinity School, his first wife’s death, his travels abroad, his study of Hinduism, and the works of the poet William Blake all have tremendous importance to the development of Transcendentalism. These ideas and his contributions to the movement would also influence most markedly Henry David Thoreau’s short life and the early works of the poet Walt Whitman.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25th, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts to William Emerson and his wife Ruth Haskins Emerson. Emerson attended the Boston Latin School and then went on to graduate from the Harvard School of Divinity in 1821. Emerson later went on to be licensed as a minister in 1826 and be ordained, like his father, as part of the Unitarian Church in 1829. That same year Emerson married Ellen Tucker, who tragically died of Tuberculosis in 1831, after her death Emerson resigned from the clergy. In 1832 Emerson traveled abroad to…
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