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About this Poem 

“Letters” was published in May-Day and Other Pieces (Ticknor and Fields, 1867). 

Letters

Every day brings a ship,
Every ship brings a word;
Well for those who have no fear,
Looking seaward well assured
That the word the vessel brings
Is the word they wish to hear.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

American poet, essayist, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in 1803 in Boston.

by this poet

poem

Teach me I am forgotten by the dead
And that the dead is by herself forgot
And I no longer would keep terms with me.
I would not murder, steal, or fornicate,
Nor with ambition break the peace of towns
But I would bury my ambition
The hope & action of my sovereign soul
In

poem

The sense of the world is short,—
Long and various the report,—
              To love and be beloved;
Men and gods have not outlearned it;
And, how oft soe’er they’ve turned it,
              ’Tis not to be improved.

poem
The Sphinx is drowsy,
        The wings are furled;
Her ear is heavy,
        She broods on the world.
"Who'll tell me my secret,
        The ages have kept?--
I awaited the seer,
        While they slumbered and slept;--

"The fate of the man-child;
        The meaning of man;
Known fruit of the unknown