Thoreau’s View of the Railroad

Thoreau’s attitude toward the railroad was foremost one of ambivalence. What’s The Railroad To Me? What’s the railroad to me?I never go to seeWhere it ends.It fills a few hollows,And makes banks for the swallows,It sets the sand a-blowing,And the blackberries a-growingWalden, H. Thoreau Henry Thoreau (1817-1862) was a transcendentalist writer, poet, and naturalist who[…]

Mary Moody Emerson Was a Scholar, a Thinker, and an Inspiration

The woman Thoreau once called the “youngest person in Concord”. Henry David Thoreau isn’t usually known for flattering comments about women. But after a few hours of conversation with the 77-year-old Mary Moody Emerson, one November evening in 1851, he complimented both her intellect and her youthful spirit. The aunt of his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mary[…]

What Would Thoreau Think of Our 24-Hour News Cycle?

He believed that faster news meant diminished quality. According to a recently released Pew Center survey, almost seven in ten Americans feel worn out by the amount of news that’s generated each day. Henry David Thoreau complained of much the same thing in Walden, his celebrated account of a two-year experiment in simple living that[…]

Thoreau is as Important Today as Ever

Henry David Thoreau might appear to be very ill-adapted for the modern West – but his writing contains some striking lessons for the modern world. “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” urges American transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau in Walden (1854), his account of living frugally in a log cabin near Concord, Massachusetts. “Let your affairs be as two or[…]