My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Aaaahhhh! That’s all that I can say to Emerson. Last time when I read “The American Scholar”, by mistake, I thought the world of Emerson. Now that I read “The Poet” and “Self-Reliance”, I can no longer say that I like all his work and that I understand him. I was so lost by what I read last night, that I tried rereading it again today, but it was to no avail. I could not understand what he was saying. I found his work to be too wordy and over-exaggerated. The language was magnificent and it flowed wonderfully, but it was complicated and it often bored me.
I understood parts of it, but not enough to grasp the entire concept and most of the important lessons. I know “we should free ourselves from restraints” and “learn to love ourselves and seek what is best for us.” I however, inferred this for myself rather than actually picking it concretely up from the text. I got very angry at Emerson, which is rather silly when I think about it now. I loved his first essay and was thrilled to finally understand it. I looked back at “American Scholar” and compared the language and flow to “Self-Reliance.” I saw very little in common between the two. It was almost like they were two totally different styles, yet I could also see that it was written by the same author – although I wasn’t positive at times. “The Poet” through me for an absolute loop. I had no clue as to its meaning. I tried at two different times, but I could not get it.
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