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Emerson's ProtégésMentoring and Marketing Transcendentalism's Future$
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David Dowling

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197440

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197440.001.0001

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Henry David Thoreau: A Poet's Apprenticeship

Henry David Thoreau: A Poet's Apprenticeship

(p.66) 2 Henry David Thoreau: A Poet's Apprenticeship
Emerson's Protégés

David Dowling

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Ralph Waldo Emerson's mentorship of Henry David Thoreau, with particular reference to the perils of the latter's experience as poet in training. It begins by analyzing “Sic Vita,” a love poem written for Emerson's sister-in-law Lucy Jackson Brown, but also intended to court Emerson with the hope of initiating a poetic apprenticeship. It then explores the steps taken by Thoreau to professionalize the poetic craft in his career. Finally, it examines Ellery Channing's usurpation of Emerson's mentorship that resulted in Thoreau's liberation from the pursuit of Emersonian poetry.

Keywords:   poetry, Ralph Waldo Emerson, mentorship, Henry David Thoreau, Sic Vita, Lucy Jackson Brown, apprenticeship, Ellery Channing

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