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Transcendental Roots

Emerson and British Romanticism

Bryan Hileman, VCU

The notion that nature expresses the One and that the purpose of poetry is likewise to express that One is found in the poetry of Wordsworth.  The Shelleyan and Wordsworthian addition to Spinoza's notion that the spirit flows through the material is the concept that a similar process occurs in the mind.  Outside of these notions, the other major poets of the British Romantic period, except of course for Coleridge, exerted relatively little influence on the development of Emerson's thought and literary style.

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