Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Early poetry break

Today's poetry break comes a day early, as I don't think I'll be able to post tomorrow -- family duties call.

On the recommendation of a friend, I've been reading a fascinating book entitled The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism. It's fascinating because I'm learning a great deal more about the Transcendentalist movement of the 1800s. We all know bits and pieces, I think. You know Henry David Thoreau and Walden Pond, you know Ralph Waldo Emerson. But this (quite long) book looks at three women who were integral to the success of that movement, and it is a very interesting look at the life of women at the time. Elizabeth Palmer Peabody did many things in her lifetime, but one of the most important was to work as an editor and bookseller, ensuring that the works of those mentioned above as well as Nathaniel Hawthorn and Margaret Fuller were published. So thank Elizabeth Palmer Peabody for giving us the poem below, which still rings true today. Enjoy!

Men Say They Know Many Things

Men say they know many things;
But lo! they have taken wings, —
The arts and sciences,
And a thousand appliances;
The wind that blows
Is all that any body knows.

— by Henry David Thoreau

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