Thoreau's Journal: 02-Sep-1856

How deceptive these maps of western rivers! Methought they were scattered according to the fancy of the map maker,—were dry channels at best,—but it turns out that the Missouri at Nebraska City is three times as wide as the Mississippi at Burlington, and Grasshopper Creek, perhaps will turn out to be as big as the Thames or Hudson.

There was an old gentlemen here to-day who lived in Concord when he was young and remembers how Dr. Ripley talked to hi8m and other little boys from the pulpit, as they came into church with their hands full of lilies, saying that those lilies looked so fresh that they must have been gathered that morning! Therefore they must have committed the sin of bathing this morning! Why, this is as sacred a river as the Ganges, sir.

I feel this difference between great poetry and small: that in the one, the sense outruns and overflows the words; in the other, the words the sense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back.