Tuesday, January 18, 2011


"Although it seems at first a sudden shift of focus, Thoreau's discovery of the flower actually broadens his political reference by underlining the fact that progressive change can emerge from what seems a defeated and hopeless position. Political critique must retain the capacity for hope, or it is futile. Thoreau's lily adds hope, and therefore purpose, to his rage. The perfume of the water lily, the 'confirmation of our hopes,' signals the unending energy of nature and also the ever present possibility of creating a better nation and community." (italics mine)

David M. Robinson Natural Life: Thoreau's Worldly Transcendentalism

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