kellyrfineman (kellyrfineman) wrote,

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Thoreau - quoteskimming

Today would have been Henry David Thoreau's birthday. I thought maybe a couple of short quotes to start the day might make for a nice observance. Thoreau spent his two years by Walden Pond living simply, meditating, and writing poetry. Most of his poetry is . . . dated at best. His account of living at Walden is poetic and lovely still, however.

From Walden; or, Life in the Woods:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

From his poem, "Sic Vita":

I am a parcel of vain strivings tied
By a chance bond together,
Dangling this way and that, their links
Were made so loose and wide,
For milder weather.

"Sic Vita" means "Such Life" - it probably derives from the Latin Sic vita est, "such is life". This is one crazy form he's using, and I confess to having written a poem using it myself: it's a hodgepodge of iambic lines, rhymed ABCACB. (Number of iambic feet per line: 5-3-4-3-1-2.)
I especially love the first few words: "I am a parcel of vain strivings". *swoon*

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Tags: analysis of poems, quotes, thoreau

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