Monday, April 4

A LINK TO A WONDERFUL POEM

A post at "Spitbull" by "The Warrior Monk" reports first of a need "to bring some order to our home library" and then goes on to republish a sublime poem by the English poet, Sir Stephen Spender. As readers of this blog are well aware, this writer enjoys poetry very much and I have a number of poetry anthologies on the shelves of my personal library, which similarly could use some orderliness, I should add!

"The Warrior Monk" and certain of my readers may enjoy these words, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, on the subject of great men:

IT IS NATURAL to believe in great men. If the companions of our childhood should turn out to be heroes, and their condition regal it would not surprise us. All mythology opens with demigods, and the circumstance is high and poetic; that is, their genius is paramount. In the legends of the Gautama, the first men ate the earth and found it deliciously sweet.

Nature seems to exist for the excellent. The world is upheld by the veracity of good men: they make the earth wholesome. They who lived with them found life glad and nutritious. Life is sweet and tolerable only in our belief in such society; and, actually or ideally, we manage to live with superiors. We call our children and our lands by their names. Their names are wrought into the verbs of language, their works and effigies are in our houses, and every circumstance of the day recalls an anecdote of them.

The search after the great man is the dream of youth and the most serious occupation of manhood. We travel into foreign parts to find his works,- if possible, to get a glimpse of him.