August 14, 2008

Understand me when I say, I love you

I see not how we can live except alone. Trenchant manners, a sharp decided way will prove a lasting convenience. Society will coo & claw & caress. You must curse & swear a little. They will remember it, & it will do them good. What if they are wise & fine people. I do not want your silliness, though you be Socrates, and if you indulge them, all people are babyish. Curse them.
Understand me when I say, I love you, it is your genius & not you. I like man, but not men. The genius of humanity is very easily & accurately to be made out by the poet-mind, but it is not in Miss Nancy nor in Adoniram with any sufficiency.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson [from his journals, March 24, 1846], in EMERSON IN HIS JOURNALS, selected and edited by Joel Porte, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Massachsetts) - London (England), 1982.

1 comment:

  1. From childhood's hour I have not been
    As others were; I have not seen
    As others saw; I could not bring
    My passions from a common spring.
    From the same source I have not taken
    My sorrow; I could not awaken
    My heart to joy at the same tone;
    And all I loved, I loved alone.
    Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
    Of a most stormy life- was drawn
    From every depth of good and ill
    The mystery which binds me still:
    From the torrent, or the fountain,
    From the red cliff of the mountain,
    From the sun that round me rolled
    In its autumn tint of gold,
    From the lightning in the sky
    As it passed me flying by,
    From the thunder and the storm,
    And the cloud that took the form
    (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
    Of a demon in my view.