Interpretation Of Emerson Essay Research Paper Ralph

Interpretation Of Emerson Essay, Research Paper

Ralph Waldo Emerson s poem, Each and All is a work

that correlates and examines the relationships between

various animate, and inanimate objects that exist on

different levels of life. In order to modify and emphasize

his points and ideas Emerson uses a variety of techniques,

both conventional and unconventional poetic devices. Each

and All is a poem that organizes and puts into perspective

all aspects of life, including his own, while creating a

unifying theme between beauty, truth, and spirituality.

Due to the inconsistent patterns that exist throughout

the lines it becomes evident within the structure of this

particular work that Emerson has no distinctive style.

Emerson s use of rhyme within this poem varies from the

rhymed couplet to a split couplet, inversion, slant rhyme,

no rhyme or blank verse, and enjambment. Inversion and

enjambment occur in this in poem in lines 1 and 2 where

Emerson says, Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked

clown, Of the from the hill top looking down. In lines

1-12 of the poem we witness Emerson s use of the rhymed

couplet, AABBCCDD, etc, which remains consistent until lines

13-16 and 38-44 where we witness an unexpected change in the

rhyme scheme, or split couplets. Line 13 begins G in our

pattern of rhyme however, proceeding this begins H then G,

and finally H to complete this inconsistency that can also

be looked at as an ABAB rhyme pattern within a pattern of

rhymed couplets. Emerson also uses slant rhyme in his

poetry to create the consistent pattern of the couplets.

Words such as: shore/uproar, hermitage/cage, wreath/breath,

attire/choir, etc. There are even examples of blank verse

in this work in lines 19, and 45-47. In line 19 the word

shore has no word preceding or proceeding it that rhymes

with it. Also, in lines 45-47, the words ground, sky, and

deity rhyme with nothing before or after it.

The inconsistencies and varying patterns of this poem

communicate not only a lack of form and continuity, but also

an abruptness in the transition of Emerson s ideas. Also,

as one reads the poem a sense of ascension is met in the

lines as Emerson relates objects in an order of progression

or evolution.

Throughout Each and All Emerson examines the

relationships between objects and their surroundings which

lead him to his first moment of sublime and transition to

the beauty of connection. Emerson observes the red cloaked

clown and the hilltop from which he looks down, the

heifers that low in the upland farm, the sexton that

tolls the bell that great Napoleon stops to listen to with

delight, etc. In lines 11 and 12 Emerson says, All are

needed by each one; Nothing is fair or good alone this

quote solidifies the liquid comparisons made by Emerson

preceding this quote. The ideas explicated by this quote

also promote a sense of unity amongst the constituents of

each instance.

Emerson s moment of sublime also forces him to venture

further into his analysis of the beauty of the connections

he had observed. Through his analysis Emerson begins to

clarify his definition of beauty in exemplifying that the

beauty of which he speaks has to do with completion, and the

connection of everything. For example, the ear and sound,

the eye and sight, the connection of the sparrow to its

nest, the sky and river, the sea shells to the shore,

bubbles, waves, and pearls, chastity and marriage, and the

virgin s train to the snow-white choir. After exhausting

himself with his analysis of beauty and reaching the

conclusion that it is temporary, Emerson comes to his third

and final catharsis of truth.

Emerson says, in lines 38-41, Then I said, I covet

truth; Beauty is unripe childhoods cheat; I leave it behind

with the games of youth: – As I spoke, beneath my feet.

However, from lines 44 to the end Emerson revisits the

beauty of nature and unites it with truth, making the

connection and completion of the two. This connection then

furthers the ascension of his poetry leading him to the

superior, eternal, truth of God. Emerson says, Around me

stood the oaks and firs; Pine-cones and acorns lay on the

ground; Over me soared the external sky, Full of light and

deity Beauty through my senses stole; I yielded myself to

the perfect whole.

Emerson s unconventional and undefined style of poetry

writing proves to be conducive to his thought process. When

he makes the transitions from one idea to another the poem

parallels this change by breaking the consistent rhythmic

pattern with an inconsistent one. The incoherence of the

rhythmic pattern occurs so unexpectedly the reader is forced

to acknowledge the idea that is communicated in it. Emerson

produces the feeling of progression and ascension in his

poetry through the rhymed couplets, which symbolize his

onward steps toward seeking the knowledge of God, the

perfect whole.


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