Ralph Waldo Emerson Poems

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American transcendentalist poet and writer. A native of Boston, he lived most of his life in that region of Massachusetts, and his book Nature inspired Henry David Thoreau, who was a neighbor and close friend. Emerson was an original and stimulating thinker, with a beautiful and fascinating writing style. Here are some of Emerson’s poems we offer on EIL:

Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American Transcendentalist poet and writer.

Ralph Waldo Emerson; engraved and published c. 1878 by S.A. Schoff, from an original drawing by Sam W. Rowse
From the Library of Congress: www.loc.gov

“Concord Hymn”

“The Day’s Ration”


To learn more about this great writer, read Dr. Woodlief’s Emerson biography.

Last, but not least, Emerson has the honor of being mocked (along with other great writers) in “A Fable for Critics” by James Russell Lowell.


When will you read Emerson’s writing in Excellence in Literature?

E2.2 Honors text: “Self-Reliance”

The book shown above is a collection of Emerson writings, including the honors text we recommend, “Self-Reliance.” We have not specifically reviewed the other material in this collection.

E3.4 Context reading: Emerson poetry (see module for specific assignment)


The biography on this page was adapted from A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, by John Cousin; with additional information from Dr. Woodlief’s Thoreau biography.