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SONNETTO POESIA Vol 1 no 1 2002
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Remco van der Zwaag
Johannes Andreas der Mouw
der Mouw's & Remco van der Zwaag's Sonnets
Thoreau and Emerson
In Memoriam Familiae
classical sonnets classiques
contemporary sonnets contemporains
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American Transcendentalism

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The American Transcendentalists and their Relationship to Andreas van der Mouw
 
Historically, prior to Andreas van der Mouws incursions into the sacred Vedic texts, there had flourished in America the Transcendentalist Movement, from the 1830s to the 1850s or thereabouts. This movement was spearheaded by the great American writers, David Henry Thoreau, author of
 
Walden Pond

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and Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was truly one of America's greatest 19th. Century poets. There can be little doubt that the underlying and implicit connections, even though they are most likely merely accidental, between these American writers and van der Mouw's own perceptions of the Universal Spheres mirrored one another with remarkable fidelity.
 
One of Emerson's most inspired and most exquisite poems is his, Brahma, which is cited here, even though it is not a sonnet, in order to illustrate the strong spiritual linkage between the American Transcendentalist Movement and van der Mouw's own philosophical penchant.

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        IF the red slayer think he slays,
        Or if the slain think he is slain,
        They know not well the subtle ways
        I keep, and pass, and turn again.

        Far or forgot to me is near;
        Shadow and sunlight are the same;
        The vanished gods to me appear;
        And one to me are shame and fame.

        They reckon ill who leave me out;
        When me they fly, I am the wings;
        I am the doubter and the doubt,
        I am the hymn the Brahmin sings.

        The strong gods pine for my abode,
        And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
        But thou, meek lover of the good!
        Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

        Ralph Waldo Emerson

        (1803-1882)


    You may also wish to read this commentary on Emerson's profoundly transcendentalist beliefs, firmly based on the fundamental tenets of Hinduism at:

Emerson's Understanding of Hinduism