Saturday, August 21, 2010
Thumbing Through Thoreau A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau
A little over two months ago, I requested the opportunity to review this book, Thumbing through Thoreau. I have always wanted to read poetry, but have always been afraid I wouldn’t understand the true value of the work. In some ways, poetry reminds me of modern art – I don’t like it because I don’t understand it. It is easy for me to look at a painting by Albert Bierstadt and recognize the talent and beauty (not to mention, respect for the creator as I do not have the talent to recreate it), but modern art looks “easy”. I have myself convinced I could throw paint on a canvas and call it modern art too! I am, however, intelligent enough to know that I must be missing something; probably a LOT! I guess I’ll have to request a book review on a study of modern art to discipline myself to conduct the necessary research to “get it”. This book on Thoreau accomplished just that for poetry.
I must admit, my first read through the book left me feeling pretty clueless! I could appreciate a few “quotes”, but not very many. It wasn’t until I read Wikipedia’s review of Henry David Thoreau’s life that the numerous quotes began to make perfect sense! I have noticed, probably because of my mother, that an understanding of a person makes EVERYTHING they say and do more clearly. I have clung to this philosophy for many, many years; which provides an ability to review the events of their past and easily assess the role it played in their behavior (whether for good or bad). This understanding of a person also allows me to forgive them, where I would not have otherwise.
There are too many favorites for me to quote, but I will say that I easily relate to Thoreau’s view of nature from ‘Walden’. Several years ago, while attending a Religious retreat at a secluded camp, I became “one” with God in nature! As I sat reading my Bible in the early morning hours – before anyone else had risen, FEELING His presence in the woods, He reminded me that my own backyard was filled with the peaceful breeze and sky-scraping trees I was enjoying at this life-retreat. My day-to-day life has never been the same. I welcome each new day alone, on my glass-enclosed porch, listening to a CD of ocean waves (another mode of reality I easily see His workmanship), praising my Creator for the beauty so easily forgotten in our culture. Which reminds me, I just have to write it, of the quote on page 23 from Walden: “I am convinced that if all men were to live as simply as I then did, thieving and robbery would be unknown.” HOW TRUE! If our world would learn to appreciate the simple, inexpensive pleasures of life, greed would not be as rampant.
I would encourage you to conduct a study of this amazing man from the 19th Century and purchase a copy of this book! I have truly enjoyed the beauty and writing on every page!
Please visit these sites to review and/or purchase a copy of this book:
Book Amazon buy link:
Tribute Books website:
Tribute Books Facebook:
Tribute Books Twitter: