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Shaping BeliefCulture, Politics, and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Writing$
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Victoria Morgan and Clare Williams

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781846311369

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315688

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Poetry, Poetic Perception, and Emerson's Spiritual Affirmations

Poetry, Poetic Perception, and Emerson's Spiritual Affirmations

(p.95) 6. Poetry, Poetic Perception, and Emerson's Spiritual Affirmations
Shaping Belief
David M. Robinson
Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the relation between subjectivity, religious discourse, and poetry during the mid–nineteenth–century, focusing on Ralph Waldo Emerson's views on the religious impulse and the poetic impulse. It considers Emerson's theory of inspiration and imaginative creation which is founded on receptive vision in the context of scientific categorisation and development that influenced modern understanding of the natural world. It also shows how Emerson formulated a new conception of the poetic imagination that addresses the possibilities and limits of an idea of poetic vision. The chapter highlights the ways in which Emerson's poetics project an aesthetic towards unity and oneness.

Keywords:   Ralph Waldo Emerson, subjectivity, religious discourse, poetry, inspiration, poetic imagination, poetic vision, unity, oneness, natural world

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