Poetry Sunday: Music by Ralph Waldo Emerson

It may be easy enough for us to see or hear the music in beautiful things, but Ralph Waldo Emerson maintains that even in the ugliness of life there is music. Even in the "darkest, meanest things" or in the "mud and scum of things" always something sings. It may be a challenge to hear that music but the effort is worthwhile.

Music

by Ralph Waldo Emerson
LET me go where'er I will,
I bear a sky-born music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that's fair, from all that's foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.
It is not only in the rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows,
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest, meanest things
There alway, alway something sings.
'T is not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the redbreast's mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things
There alway, alway something sings. 


Comments

  1. implying a broader perspective, sensuous enjoyment without labels... lots of good stuff in Emerson...

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    1. He always seemed to take the broader view of things with a view to their long-term effects.

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  2. I really think there is some truth to this. Music has a way to sooth like nothing else, and in the darkest moment one can remember beauty by calling on music. I have read accounts of inmates of concentration camps being comforted by the remembrance of Mozart. As humans we are capable of depravity of the most foul kind while simultaneously being able to create such beauty. Oh, and by the way, we are systematically poisoning the very planet that supports us. Oh my! Think I'll listen to Beethoven's 9th; that will permit me to forget it all for a while.

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    1. Few things soothe like Beethoven's 9th. The Ode to Joy always bids us to see the beauty around us.

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    2. The music of the world continues even after natural disasters and man made disasters. It's hard, if you are affected by the disaster, to stop and enjoy that music but it is there, nevertheless, to provide hope of recovery.

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  3. Music can really lift the soul. Personally, when I hear a bird, it makes me warm and fuzzy inside. But where I live you do have to actively listen for the sound.

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    1. Music, including birdsong, does transport us and give us new perspective.

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  4. Very nice! Reminds that there's beauty everywhere if you just look...a good reminder on this day when there's nothing but grey snow out my window... ;-)

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  5. "Alway, alway something sings." I love that sentiment! Because it is how we look at life that determines if it is good or bad. Thanks for sharing this one. :)

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    Replies
    1. Much depends upon how we look at things, as you suggest.

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