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Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803–April 27, 1882) was a famous lecturer, philosopher, poet, and writer.He led the transcendentalist movement of the 1800s, mentored Henry David Thoreau, and was a pioneer of multiculturalism in American writing.
Emerson's six-line poem that he uses as the epigraph for the 1849 edition asserts the interconnectedness of all things: A subtle chain of countless rings The next unto the farthest brings; The eye reads omens where it goes, And speaks all languages the rose; And, striving to be man, the worm Mounts through all the spires of form.
Nature, in the images of a rose and a worm, speaks directly to individuals.
IN MEN NATURE is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.
Force, maketh nature more violent in the return; doctrine and discourse, maketh nature less importune; but custom only doth alter and subdue nature.
But if a man have the fortitude, and resolution, to enfranchise himself at once, that is the best: Optimus ille animi vindex laedentia pectus Vincula qui rupit, dedoluitque semel.
Neither is the ancient rule amiss, to bend nature, as a wand, to a contrary extreme, whereby to set it right, understanding it, where the contrary extreme is no vice.
He reprinted it in his 1849 edition of Nature; Addresses, and Lectures.
The essay's epigraphs will vary according to which edition of Nature is anthologized.
His mandate, which called for harmony with, rather than domestication of, nature, and for a reliance on individual integrity, rather than on materialistic instituti Through his writing and his own personal philosophy, Ralph Waldo Emerson unburdened his young country of Europe's traditional sense of history and showed Americans how to be creators of their own circumstances.
His mandate, which called for harmony with, rather than domestication of, nature, and for a reliance on individual integrity, rather than on materialistic institutions, is echoed in many of the great American philosophical and literary works of his time and ours, and has given an impetus to modern political and social activism.