Friday, February 27, 2009

Honoring Henry David Thoreau

From last Sunday's NY Times editorial page, customarily the final entry on the page, and in Verlyn Klinkenborg's way, always an uplifting commentary:
Mayhap, Mr. Klinkenborg, you refer to such writing by Thoreau as the below, culled from his book, A week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, which we are currently re-reading:

(On the farmers he saw on his canoe explorations & elsewhere, in the 1800's)

“You shall see rude and sturdy, experienced and wise men, keeping their castles, or teaming up their summer’s wood, or chopping alone in the woods, men fuller of talk and rare adventure in the sun and wind and rain, than a chestnut is full of meat; who were out not only in ’75 and 1812, but have been out every day of their lives; greater men than Homer, or Chaucer, or Shakespeare, only they never got time to say so; they never took to the way of writing. Look at their fields, and imagine what they might write, if ever they should put pen to paper. Or what have they not written on the face of the earth already, clearing, and burning, and scratching, and harrowing, and plowing, and subsoiling, in and in, and out and out, and over and over, again and again, erasing what they had already written for want of parchment.”

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