Water

By Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson
The water understands
Civilization well;
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.

Source: Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950)

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Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–1882

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Arts & Sciences, History & Politics, Philosophy, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Aphorism

 Ralph  Waldo Emerson

Biography

Ralph Waldo Emerson—a New England preacher, essayist, lecturer, poet, and philosopher—was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the nineteenth century in the United States. Emerson was also the first major American literary and intellectual figure to widely explore, write seriously about, and seek to broaden the domestic audience for classical Asian and Middle Eastern works. He not only gave countless readers their . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, History & Politics, Philosophy, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Aphorism

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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