Imago lacus

The picture above was taken by a dear friend, the American poet Debra Kang Dean (please do not use it without permission). I met Debra three years before, when I went to Walden to work with his late husband Brad, a great Thoreau scholar. Once we spent hours tracking this quotation: "Some men go fishing all their lives without ever realizing it's not fish they are after." We concluded that Thoreau never wrote it, but si non è vero...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thoreau's journal, 1852-01-01

When possessed with a strong feeling on any subject foreign to the one I may be writing on--I know very well what of good & what of bad I have written on the latter-- It looks to me now as it will 10 years hence My life is then earnest and will tolerate no make-shifts nor nonsense. What is tinsel or Euphuism or irrelevant is revealed to such a touch-stone. In the light of a strong feeling all things take their places and truth of every kind is seen for such. Now let me read my verses and I will tell you if the God has had a hand in them. I wish to survey my composition for a moment from the least favorable point of view. I wish to be translated to the future--& look at my work as it were at a structure on the plain, to observe what portions have crumbled under the influence of the elements.

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