as sacred a river as the Ganges
...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 him 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:

michael jameson said...

all rivers are sacred, if one is!,and i loved the story of the good girl who had to lie in confession!, if she told the truth that she had not committed any sins she would be branded a liar! so she would lie and get a lesser sentence! how stupid is confession if that is the outcome!,i will lie to you so you dont think i have lied?? sorry father but this is idiotic that is my confession!. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com