The Poet (essay)

"The Poet" is an essay by U.S. writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, written between 1841 and 1843 and published in his Essays: Second Series in 1844. It is not about "men of poetical talents, or of industry and skill in meter, but of the true poet." Emerson begins the essay with the premise that man is naturally incomplete, since he "is only half himself, the other half is his expression."

Emerson says that a poet represents humanity, as one that acknowledges interdependence between the material and spiritual world:

And this hidden truth, that the fountains whence all this river of Time, and its creatures, floweth, are intrinsically ideal and beautiful, draws us to the consideration of the nature and functions of the Poet, or the man of Beauty, to the means and materials he uses, and to the general aspect of the art in the present time.[1]


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