"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them". This is one of the best known quotes of Henry David Thoreau. It comes from his masterwork Civil Disobedience and Other Essays. Like many, if not most, of the men of my generation, I have led a life of quiet desperation. Recently my desperation has been noisy. I have lived my entire life with fears. Prominent among them is the fear of failure. I have been striving to do more with the myriad of ideas that cross my cluttered mind. I treat all my ideas the same, I hold them, I enjoy them, and then I cast them aside. Some have taken root here and there. Some should not have been allowed to take root. Many have simply died for want of attention.
A recent editing project has inspired me to be more purposeful with my ideas. Instead of simply casting my ideas to grow or perish as chance permits, I will take more solid action on my ideas in the belief that doing so will help me get out the "song" still inside me, before I go to the grave. With that in mind I am beginning a new project. Thinking Thoreau will be a series of daily micro-posts about passages or quotes from the works of Thoreau as I come across them. I will be reading the following works by Thoreau in the following order:
A Plea for Captain John Brown Read to the Citizens of Concord, Massachusetts
All of these works are available as free E-books from Amazon as they are now in the public domain. I do not know how long it will take me to complete the project. I welcome comments and disagreements about my ideas and interpretations of Thoreau. I am not a scholar of Thoreau, or poetry, or the English language. This idea just appealed to me. I have read Civil Disobedience a few times, and enjoyed reading the play, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, in high school. Otherwise, I am a novice on the subject.
I will continue in my efforts to post 1,500 to 2,000 word posts on a close to weekly basis separate and apart from my Thoreau project. I hope to use this project to learn and grow. I hope to put effort into this project such that even if no one ever reads my posts, I will be glad to have made the effort. All my posts in this project will start with Thinking Thoreau in the title, so no unsuspecting reader will be tricked into reading something they would rather not be exposed to.Pin It