Emerson's Argument For The Nature Of The Poet

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Emerson’s argument, like that of many authors in The Norton Anthology, centers around the nature of the Poet; what they are and what they are not. The argument for the nature of the Poet as a sort of translator for humanity provides the basis for Emerson’s essay. Starting out, he states that The Poet “sees and handles that which others dream of” and imparts it to the rest of humanity (Emerson 621). The nature of the Poet is representative, he is attuned to something the common man is not, and his work is an attempt intercede on their behalf to foster understanding. The Poet “lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar” and thus confers to the everyday man the beauty of nature …show more content…
He uses Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish mystic and philosopher, as well as Dante as a specific example of a nationalist poet. Each of the authors represents what Emerson sees as a genius-poet, the likes of which he has not seen in America at the time of his writing the essay. He states that “if [he] has not found that excellent combination of gifts in [his] countrymen which [he seeks]” he could not submit a solution to the problem by reading of English poets as they “wits” more than poets (Emerson 634). In response to Emerson’s call for an American Poet to express the continent’s particular beauty, Poets emerge. Walt Whitman specifically sets out to respond to Emerson, and begins working on and finally submits his poetry collection Leaves of Grass in 1844. In particular, Song of Myself was an attempt to craft the American epic poem desired by Emerson that would stand contemporary to Homer. Modern readers are likely to know the collection from John Green’s novel Paper Towns, or his work O Captain! My Captain!, which is recited in the movie Dead Poets Society. He has continued to influence through his Poems long after his death and fills well the roll of American Poet.
Emerson’s essay enters the discussion of defining the Poet and names him the visionary interpreter of the

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