Emerson's Argument For The Nature Of The Poet
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