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Transcendentalists > Henry David Thoreau > Analysis and Criticism > Emerson on Thoreau

Emerson on Thoreau

From Emerson's Journal, June 24, 1863:

In reading Henry Thoreau's Journal, I am very sensible of the vigor of his constitution. That oaken strength which I noted whenever he walked or worked or surveyed wood lots, the same unhesitating hand with which a field-laborer accosts a piece of work which I should shun as a waste of strength, Henry shows in his literary task. He has muscle, & ventures on & performs tasks which I am forced to decline. In reading him, I find the same thoughts, the same spirit that is in me, but he takes a step beyond, & illustrates by excellent images that which I should have conveyed in a sleepy generality. 'Tis as if I went into a gymnasium, & saw youths leap, climb, & swing with a fource unapproachable, -- though their feats are only continuations of my initial grapplings & jumps.

[Thoreau- Analysis]

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