Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who in his later years 
           attended Longfellow’s funeral
and muttered : « That gentleman
           was a sweet beautiful soul
but I have entirely forgotten
           his name »

He who at the age of thirty
           had called on Coleridge
in Highgate and described him
           as a short stout old man
with bright blue eyes
           and a fine clear complexion
and noted his addiction to snuff
           of which during the visit
he partook freely
           presently soiling
his cravat
           and his neat black suit

The poet is the sayer
           the namer of things
without impediment

A poem by one who knows
           and tells with thoughts
passionate and alive
           so that its spirit
has an architecture
           of its own

John Lyons

 

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