A blupete Essay

Sounds (Ch.4), Part 4 to blupete's Essay
"Thoughts On Thoreau And Walden"

It is in this chapter that we see Thoreau's views expressed about industrious people, those of commerce, those of enterprise and bravery.

"What recommends commerce to me is its enterprise and bravery. ... I see these men every day go about their business with more or less courage and content, doing more even than they suspect, and perchance better employed than they could have consciously devised. I am less affected by [the military heros of history] ... than by the steady and cheerful valor of the men who inhabit the snowplow for their winter quarters; who have not merely the three-o'-clock-in-the-morning courage, which Bonaparte thought was the rarest, but whose courage does not go to rest so early, who go to sleep only when the storm sleeps ...
Commerce is unexpectedly confident and serene, alert, adventurous, and unwearied. It is very natural in its methods withal, far more so than many fantastic enterprises and sentimental experiments, and hence its singular success."
Thoreau writes of his yard:

"No yard! but unfenced nature reaching up to your very sills. A young forest growing up under your meadows, and wild sumachs and blackberry vines breaking through into your cellar; sturdy pitch pines rubbing and creaking against the shingles for want of room, their roots reaching quite under the house. Instead of a scuttle or a blind blown off in the gale- a pine tree snapped off or torn up by the roots behind your house for fuel. Instead of no path to the front-yard gate in the Great Snow, -- no gate -- no front-yard, -- and no path to the civilized world."
If Thoreau only knew how much time and money we spent on the few feet that surround are residences, he would have written more on the topic of yards. God! Why do people buy lawn mowers? Sod? Fertilizers? It is all just so much work. And agriculture activity with modern engines and chemicals just, well, -- just pollute the environment: And to what purpose. Oh! I can see a vegetable garden; and too, I can see where some cutting back of the growth to keep a view would be worthwhile for the exercise, if nothing else. But, what people go through to keep up their homes and gardens these days, is absurd.


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[Essays, Second Series]
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Peter Landry

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