Thoreau: The Poem I Would Have Writ

Henry David Thoreau, 1817 - 1862

As a companion to last week's Emerson post, here's a marvelous couplet from his friend, protege, and, ultimately, peer, Henry David Thoreau.
My life has been the poem I would have writ
But I could not both live and utter it.
Is there any doubt that our view of creativity is usually too constricted? Anyone who has ever opened their mouth to speak, is improvising as musicians do. Anyone who has ever built a life with structures, routines, relationships, obligations, and pleasures, is a composer. Anyone who has ever had a baby, or left home, has embraced the unknown, and is an artist beyond a doubt.

And as for those of us who are artists in the formal sense, which ones have ever captured the full complexity of life and the abiding mystery of lived reality?


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