Emerson was born in 1803, the son of a Unitarian minister, and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.
He attended Harvard’s Unitarian Divinity School and was a minster from 1829-1832 at Boston’s Second Church.
There is no man who does not anticipate a supersensual utility in the sun, and stars, earth, and water.
These stand and wait to render him a peculiar service.
He left the church after the death of his first wife to tuberculosis, when he coincidentally experienced a crisis of faith in which he questioned the ceremonies of the church service.
A reader of poetry and philosophy, Emerson toured Europe after his wife’s death; in Europe he met William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle.So in regard to other forms, the intellectual men do not believe in any essential dependence of the material world on thought and volition.Theologians think it a pretty air-castle to talk of the spiritual meaning of a ship or a cloud, of a city or a contract, but they prefer to come again to the solid ground of historical evidence; and even the poets are contented with a civil and conformed manner of living, and to write poems from the fancy, at a safe distance from their own experience.This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.Too often, Emerson observes, the "umpires of taste" can judge and categorize art and literature, and speak at length on esthetics although their own lives are "selfish and sensual." The poet, rather than the critic, is one who can see though appearances, trends, poses, fads and vanities to seize life by the throat and utter words of unvarnished truth and wisdom, according to Emerson.They receive of the soul as he also receives, but they more.Nature enhances her beauty, to the eye of loving men, from their belief that the poet is beholding her shows at the same time.The essential job of the poet is to write the truth as they experience it, Emerson says. Lecturer, poet, essayist, and lapsed Unitarian minister, Ralph Waldo Emerson lived during a time of intellectual blossoming in America and was associated with the transcendentalist movement.But the highest minds of the world have never ceased to explore the double meaning, or, shall I say, the quadruple, or the centuple, or much more manifold meaning, of every sensuous fact: Orpheus, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Plato, Plutarch, Dante, Swedenborg, and the masters of sculpture, picture, and poetry.For we are not pans and barrows, nor even porters of the fire and torch-bearers, but children of the fire, made of it, and only the same divinity transmuted, and at two or three removes, when we know least about it.