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Each and All
Transcript of Each and All
Emerson titled it this for a reason.
What makes something valuable is the "perfect whole."
"Each and All" of the circumstances are needed for something to be beautiful.
The red shepherd in the field does not think,
of the person looking down upon him from the hill.
The Cow that moos in the highland farm,
does not do so to please your ear.
The church worker ringing the bells at noon,
does not think that Napoleon Bonaparte,
would stop to listen and revel at the sound.
While his troops conquer vast lands.
Nor do you realize how the actions you make
affect your neighbor's life.
All of these examples affect each other.
Everything good is intertwined.
Even though most of his writing was after 1832, he is still classified as a Romantic poet
Topics of Beauty, Individuality, and Nature
Uses classical allusions such as Napoleon
All nature is connected, and in that connection lies beauty.
The speaker only recognized things as beautiful when they were in their original settings. Throughout many experiences, the speaker learned that all of nature is connected, and that he was part of the perfect whole.
By: Ralph Waldo Emerson
“May 16th, 1834. I remember when I was a boy going upon the beach and being charmed with the colors and forms of the shells. I picked up many and put them in my pocket. When I got home I could find nothing that I gathered—nothing but some dry, ugly mussel and snail shells. Thence I learned that Composition was more important than the beauty of individual forms to Effect. On the shore they lay wet and social, by the sea and under the sky.”
The sparrows song sounds divine,
coming from the alder branch.
I brought the bird home, his nest and all,
yet now his song doesn't sound so sweet.
I could not bring home my surroundings,
the bird pleased my ears, while the river and sky pleased my eyes.
Fragile shells sit on the shore.
The action of these last waves,
helped to create the pearls.
The crashing of the incoming waves,
covered the pearls that I had found.
I cleared away the seaweed and froth,
and took my precious pearls home.
But the little ugly, stinky pearls
had only been pretty on the shore.
where they were with the sun, the sand, and the waves.
The lover observed his elegant maiden
while she stayed a virgin.
She didn't know that what suited her best,
was her snow-white wedding gown.
Like the sparrow that he took to his home,
their happiness went away.
She was a sweet companion, but not like a goddess.
Then I said that "I value authenticity
Beauty taken out of context is not truth.
I leave this notion behind me."
As I said these words, underneath my feet,
The pine needles became a pleasing wreath,
covering all the club-moss burrs
Now I noticed that around me grew oaks and firs.
Above me was a beautiful sky.
Once again, I was able to see and hear
The rushing river and the sparrows song.
Beauty was lost through my blocked senses.
I prevented myself from the beauty in its entirety.
The main shift of the poem is between the fourth and fifth stanza
In the beginning the speaker is greedy with things he finds beautiful
Afterword he realizes that nature is connected and that everything
makes up the perfect whole.
True beauty can only be found in its original setting.
Throughout "Each and All," there is a feeling that humans have the right to be greedy. The speaker seems to think that he has the right to take everything that he finds beautiful. Yet when he does so he finds that they are not as beautiful, as he once thought they were.
In this regard, the speaker is most likely someone who learns the true value and beauty of nature. Therefore, Emerson is most likely directing the poem towards people similar to the speaker: people who disrupt the wilderness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson was known as leader of the American Transcendentalists.
His strong connection with nature was based on the philosophy that one understands God and themselves by feeling their own connection to nature.
He also encouraged other writers to develop their own style and not just to copy those of the past.
Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown,
Of thee, from the hill-top looking down;
And the heifer, that lows in the upland farm,
Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
The sexton tolling the bell at noon,
Dreams not that great Napoleon
Stops his horse, and lists with delight,
Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent:
All are needed by each one,
Nothing is fair or good alone.
Enjambment: Shows how the shepherd gives no thought to his onlookers.
Allusion: Napoleon Bonaparte
was known for love of church bells
Homeric epithet: assigns the depiction of a commoner going about his business.
Hyperbole: Napoleon's army isn't likely conquering the land at the same instant the sexton is ringing the bell.
I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
I brought him home in his nest at even;—
He sings the song, but it pleases not now;
For I did not bring home the river and sky;
He sang to my ear; they sang to my eye.
Imagery: The beautiful surroundings of the sparrow's music are what make it wonderful.
Parallelism: The bird's music is placed side by side to show that it is the same in both places, yet it doesn't please him now.
The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave;
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me;
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
And fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore
With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar.
Personification: The sea is described as bellowing to show the formidable side of nature.
Contrast: Emerson uses contrast in this section. The delicate shells are unlike the bellowing sea. This helps give the impression of wonder. (That delicate things are created by something so harsh.
Imagery: Once again, Emerson describes the beauty of nature to show how the circumstances of a situation really matter.
The lover watched his graceful maid
As 'mid the virgin train she strayed,
Nor knew her beauty's best attire
Was woven still by the snow-white quire;
At last she came to his hermitage,
Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage,—
The gay enchantment was undone,
A gentle wife, but fairy none.
Homeric Epithet: The epithet snow-white helps give the impression of virginity and beauty, as well as representing a marriage gown/ceremony.
Symbolism: The graceful maiden becomes the gentle wife, but she is not a fairy. This means that she does not hold the same mystic allure that she used to. Once again, the original circumstances made something more beautiful.
Then I said, "I covet Truth;
Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat,—
I leave it behind with the games of youth."
As I spoke, beneath my feet
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
Running over the club-moss burrs;
I inhaled the violet's breath;
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine cones and acorns lay on the ground;
Above me soared the eternal sky,
Full of light and deity;
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird;—
Beauty through my senses stole,
I yielded myself to the perfect whole.
Figurative language: "Beauty is unripe childhoods cheat" means: Beauty taken away from its natural environment is not true.
Personification: Violet's breath resembles a kiss from the flower, and shows how beautiful nature is now that the speaker sees it in its environment.
Alliteration: Rolling river and senses stole are examples of alliteration. This helps give the impression that everything makes sense to the speaker again.
Emerson didn't stick with one style throughout the poem.
The first stanza is made up of rhymed couplets.
The second is made up of split couplets.
The third stanza returns to the rhymed couplet
The final stanza is made up of some rhymed couplets, and some lines with no rhyme.
This transition in rhyme scheme represents the speakers ascension in understanding. The alternation of rhymed couplets and otherwise symbolize the speaker's journey towards the knowledge of beauty and the perfect whole.
You are part of the perfect whole.