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Emerson's Perspective on Nature in Adulthood in His Poetry

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I think what Emerson means by a “poetical sense” of looking at nature is to see reality in a way that combines all of nature and does not regard nature in a way that is completely functional or seen concerning man’s possessions and interests. Emerson uses two examples where he talks about a poet who saw a ‘tree’ while a wood-cutter only saw a ‘stick of timber’ that would provide the wood-cutter money. The wood-cutter and poet both see the tree differently because they both have different perspectives on nature and how nature can affect their lives. Emerson then continues to talk about farms being measured and separated from each other and owned by different families. These examples show how nature can compare and contrast with the normal human way of regarding the natural world. As the poet Emerson once argued, the poet is who will be able to “integrate” all of the human divisions and see nature in its beautiful entirety.

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What I think Emerson means by the transparent eyeball is that he is absorbing nature and information rather than being reflective, I think Emerson is also suggesting a transparent eye is the closest a person could be to experiencing the presence of God. For most people sight is superficial; seeing is light illuminating, the eye is exposing what is physically evident as opposed to the sun when it ‘shines into the eye and the heart of the child.’ Emerson argues that inner and outer vision join to reveal symbols in the natural landscape. Because of the real correspondence between human thoughts and visible objects, natural facts serve as representations of spiritual truths, so the natural world is a constant story of the human spirit. To sincerely appreciate nature, someone must not only look at it and admire it but to also feel it taking over the senses. This process requires absolute ‘solitude; a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society’ to desolate places like the woods where therefore he takes in everything nature has to offer. Emerson intends to become more connected with nature, and the transparent eyeball is a metaphor to express that and the presence of God.

This essay expresses the romantic ideal because it includes a focus on Emerson’s emotions and the inner world, celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination, along with the recognization of religion. The whole essay is about how Emerson feels and his thoughts on how us humans should view the world and nature. An example would be when Emerson says, ‘Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort all her secrets, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection. Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit. The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected all the wisdom of his best hour, as much as they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood.’ Emerson then goes into detail about how nature can reflect our moods and thoughts of one another. Another reason why this essay expresses the romantic ideal is that Emerson talks a lot about nature and how it affects each person individually both spiritually and perspectively. An example would be when Emerson is trying to get his point across on how we should appreciate the small things in life to how it would be every time stars would come out of the sky every one thousand years. When Emerson talks about the stars he is trying to say people need to take their time to enjoy the simple and little things in their lives because those are the moments that are rare. A third reason as to why Emerson’s essay is romantically ideal is because he talks and makes comparisons with religion. An example of this would be when Emerson is discussing how becoming a transparent eyeball while out in nature, is the closest a person could be to experiencing the presence of God. For most people sight is superficial; seeing is light illuminating, the eye is exposing what is physically evident as opposed to the sun when it ‘shines into the eye and the heart of the child.’ Emerson argues that inner and outer vision join to reveal symbols in the natural landscape. These are all excellent examples of romantic ideal within Emerson’s short essay, and I agree with most of Emerson’s beliefs about nature and lifestyle.

What I think Emerson means by when he states, Nature always wears the colors of the spirit is that nature has a way of reflecting our moods and spiritual side. I think Emerson believes that people need to slow down and take the time to enjoy the small and simple things in life instead of rushing everything and not focusing on anything that happened throughout their life. Another thing I think Emerson believes that should be cherished is how the world is divided into two parts, nature, and soul. In this essay, Emerson shows an example of these beliefs by stating ‘If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty and light the universe with their admonishing smile.’ In this quote from the essay, it shows how Emerson is trying to say if things didn’t occur as often as they usually do we would appreciate and value them more because it would be a rare moment. I agree with Emerson completely because if we don’t stop and take time to enjoy the small things that are most important in life, then what is exciting or fun for anyone? Like Emerson said about the stars, the little moments are the rare ones, and we need to cherish them as long as we possibly can.

When Emerson says “To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.” he means that adults have a different perspective on nature and life when compared to younger children. Adults tend to take nature for granted, as something that is either useful or destructive — no time to appreciate nature itself. For children, nature is always something surprising and new whether they have been to the woods multiple times; it still seems to fascinate the younger children. As people grow older and start to become an adult, they lose their childlike perspective on nature. As you become an adult, you become, and you are more focused on the everyday things you need to do to survive, like going to work and making sure everything is done correctly to make money for food and to pay bills. An adult also has bigger dreams, and they want more for themselves than what they did at the age of five, so adults are willing to work to get there and in the process of that people become tunnel visioned to the things they used to enjoy as a child. As children, they don’t have to deal with all of the stress of supporting a family, and they have a lot more time to go outside and enjoy nature. Children also don’t have as big as goals as adults, children tend to take their life a day at a time, and they don’t worry about their future because they don’t have to yet. I agree with Emerson because as you get older and your goals get bigger, you still have to appreciate the small things in life and still be young at heart when you are a child you have a lot of fun even though it may be something small or simple you are doing. As people get older, your day to day routine stays the same, and you start to appreciate less and almost become numb to the thought of splashing in a puddle, riding the grocery cart like a skateboard, or kicking a pile of leaves when you see one. These are all simple things that most people enjoy doing, I am a teenager, but I love riding the grocery cart like a skateboard, adults shouldn’t lose sight of these small things, or there won’t be any little things that make life better and more enjoyable. 

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