All dates are AD or CE current era unless otherwise specified. Some dates are approximations or "educated guesses. You can click any hyperlinked poem title or writer name to "drill down. If you're a student who "doesn't like poetry" and is only here grudgingly because of a school assignment, please reconsider.
His paternal grandfather had been born on the UK crown dependency island of Jersey. He began to call himself Henry David after he finished college; he never petitioned to make a legal name change.
The house has been restored by the Thoreau Farm Trust,  a nonprofit organization, and is now open to the public. He studied at Harvard College between and He lived in Hollis Hall and took courses in rhetoricclassics, philosophy, mathematics, and science.
In fact, the master's degree he declined to purchase had no academic merit: Harvard College offered it to graduates "who proved their physical worth by being alive three years after graduating, and their saving, earning, or inheriting quality or condition by having Five Dollars to give the college.
Return to Concord, —[ edit ] The traditional professions open to college graduates—law, the church, business, medicine—did not interest Thoreau, : After he graduated inhe joined the faculty of the Concord public school, but he resigned after a few weeks rather than administer corporal punishment.
The school closed when John became fatally ill from tetanus in after cutting himself while shaving. Emerson urged Thoreau to contribute essays and poems to a quarterly periodical, The Dialand lobbied the editor, Margaret Fuller, to publish those writings.
The first journal entry, on October 22,reads, "'What are you doing now? In his early years he followed Transcendentalisma loose and eclectic idealist philosophy advocated by Emerson, Fuller, and Alcott. They held that an ideal spiritual state transcends, or goes beyond, the physical and empirical, and that one achieves that insight via personal intuition rather than religious doctrine.
In their view, Nature is the outward sign of inward spirit, expressing the "radical correspondence of visible things and human thoughts", as Emerson wrote in Nature For a few months inhe moved to the home of William Emerson on Staten Island and tutored the family's sons while seeking contacts among literary men and journalists in the city who might help publish his writings, including his future literary representative Horace Greeley.
He rediscovered the process of making good pencils with inferior graphite by using clay as the binder.
The company's other source of graphite had been Tantiusquesa mine operated by Native Americans in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Later, Thoreau converted the pencil factory to produce plumbago, a name for graphite at the time, which was used in the electrotyping process.
In April he and his friend Edward Hoar accidentally set a fire that consumed acres 1. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
I see no other alternative, no other hope for you. Thoreau refused because of his opposition to the Mexican—American War and slaveryand he spent a night in jail because of this refusal. The next day Thoreau was freed when someone, likely to have been his aunt, paid the tax, against his wishes.
In January and Februaryhe delivered lectures on "The Rights and Duties of the Individual in relation to Government",  explaining his tax resistance at the Concord Lyceum. Bronson Alcott attended the lecture, writing in his journal on January Heard Thoreau's lecture before the Lyceum on the relation of the individual to the State—an admirable statement of the rights of the individual to self-government, and an attentive audience.
His allusions to the Mexican War, to Mr.
Hoar 's expulsion from Carolina, his own imprisonment in Concord Jail for refusal to pay his tax, Mr. Hoar's payment of mine when taken to prison for a similar refusal, were all pertinent, well considered, and reasoned. I took great pleasure in this deed of Thoreau's.
Thoreau had taken up a version of Percy Shelley 's principle in the political poem " The Mask of Anarchy "which begins with the powerful images of the unjust forms of authority of his time and then imagines the stirrings of a radically new form of social action.
Thoreau did not find a publisher for the book and instead printed 1, copies at his own expense; fewer than were sold. Thoreau left Walden Pond on September 6, The book compresses that time into a single calendar year, using the passage of the four seasons to symbolize human development.
Part memoir and part spiritual quest, Walden at first won few admirers, but later critics have regarded it as a classic American work that explores natural simplicity, harmony, and beauty as models for just social and cultural conditions.
Inhe and his family moved into a house at Main Streetwhere he lived until his death. These would be Thoreau's only travels outside the United States. He jested that all he got from this adventure "was a cold.
Whereas his own country had had its revolution, in Canada history had failed to turn. He read avidly on botany and often wrote observations on this topic into his journal.Apr 29, · In the book Walden, Henry David Thoreau preaches the importance of simplicity in our lives.
Throughout “Economy,” the first chapter of Walden, Thoreau repeatedly mentions his theory that we keep making our lives more complicated than the need to be. One of the first substantial biographies of Thoreau, The Life of Henry David Thoreau, was published by an Englishman, Henry Salt, in Walden was reprinted several times in both America and England during the second half of the nineteenth century.
Henry David Thoreau was born David Henry Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts, into the "modest New England family" of John Thoreau, a pencil maker, and Cynthia Dunbar. His paternal grandfather had been born on the UK crown dependency island of Jersey.
His maternal grandfather, Asa Dunbar, led Harvard's student "Butter Rebellion", the first recorded student protest in the American colonies. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day?
Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls — the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning.
Letter to. “Anarchism may be described as the doctrine that all the affairs of men should be managed by individuals or voluntary associations, and that the State should be abolished.”.