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“Unity”, there are also likenesses between the poems “The World-Soul” and “Brahma”. The world-soul is the destiny which “serveth the servant,” and loves the brave. Also, it “kills the cripple and the sick, / And straight begins again” (91-92).These lines reiterate some lines of the poem “Brahma” “If the red slayer think he slays, / Or if the slain think he is slain,” (All poems 1-2). Both poems through these lines show the power of the universal reality that governs everything. This universal spirit kills the cripple and the sick, serves the servant in “The World-Soul” and also is both the red slayer that kills and the slain in “Brahma”. Emerson states in most of his essays, that this universal truth is the encompassing power in the world which rules the whole universe. He declares that ‘the Over-Soul’ is the power that is not an organ, but animates and exercises all organs, it is not a faculty, but a light; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and will (Collected Works5:110). Emerson maintains this belief artistically in the poem “The World-Soul” in some other lines a new way: ‘The Over-Soul’ is the ever changing power that controls “the old world” and makes a fairer world. It is in fact the “unimagined good of men” which “forbids to despair”.
Lastly, it can be said that “The World-Soul” states Emerson’s idea of unity, the belief that reveals the unity among all the essence in the existence. The world-soul is the united soul of the world which both contains the existence and as it was explained in previous paragraphs, controls it. It manifests itself through many things as morning, noon sun, night star and the power that controls everything. Furthermore, It is indicated in the poem that the world-soul that is the reality of everything is the “unimagined good of men”. Consequently, man is the real essence of everything and there is oneness among man and other essence. Finally, it shows that the world-soul is the truth of everything, so it is present in every creature.
۳.۲.۷. Unity in “Unity”
Emerson first drafted the poem “Unity” in late 1846 or early 1847. He chose the poem, then
untitled, to serve as motto for the essay ‘the Over-Soul’ in the 1847 edition of Essays: First Series. The poem was later collected, with the title “Unity,” in May-Day and Other Pieces (1867), and it was reprinted in the posthumous Poems (1884) and in the Complete Works (1903).
According to Bill Scalia, East and west are terms used by Emerson to suggest an apparent opposition of the spiritual East and the rational West in the first section of the poem as in his poem “Experience” (1844)(Wayne, Critical Companion to Emerson 272). The first section declares that the space is wide but east and west cannot stand alongside. As the hyperbole of the riddle suggests, it is not wide enough to include both individual will and the universal soul. As Scalia states, the first section of the poem points to Emerson’s idea of the “Over-soul” as he believes that it is the universal spirit that contains man’s individual power (272). Emerson tells us, in “The Over-Soul”, that the separation between will and soul is false: “Unity, that Over-soul, within which every man’s particular being is contained and made one with all other” is its “inevitable nature,” within which “private will is overpowered” (Essays 139).
In the second section, the poet makes use of the symbolism of “masterful cuckoo”. The bird takes over other bird’s nest and “Crowds every eggs out of the nest”, except its own. This part explicitly states the idea about the universal soul that is the unique truth in the world and other things are illusions. The universe, as Emerson maintains, consists of matter and thought. Matter provides the shapes in the universe and doesn’t have real existence by itself, but the human’s thought that contains everything in the cosmos is the real truth of everything and embraces all the essence in the world. Emerson believes that except the “Over-soul” there is no real existence. Each person who intuitively understands this truth knows that the “Over-soul” is his inevitable nature. The bird in the poem is the symbol of the “Over-soul” that involves the entire universe and the real essence of the world. It throws out the other’s eggs except his own to prove his real existence and his power over others.
The last part that contains five lines brings together the first two parts. According to Bill Scalia as he wrote in his article “Ralph Waldo Emerson”, the last section rather than relying on the riddle of the opening lines or the symbolism of the second section, instead tells the reader of the “power” of the universal soul, which “works its will on age and hour”( 26). In fact the poem in the last section echoes Emerson’s notion of the “Over-soul” that as Emerson says rules another powers.
Accordingly, Bill Scalia in analysis of the poem states that the poet uses title, riddle, symbolism and lastly direct expression to convey the mystery of the universal soul to the reader, as he declares in the essay “The Over-Soul”: ‘…Is not an organ, but animates and exercises all organs … is not a faculty, but a light; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and will’ ” (Critical Companion to Emerson 273). The last three lines propose the ideas in the service of the theme of the poem: “Every quality and pith / surcharged and sultry with a power / that works its will on age and hour” (9-11).
The study reveals that the dual substances of the world lead to unity. “Xenophanes” shows that the dual aspects of the material world resolve into unity, as the real essence of dual qualities is one truth that is universal soul. It expresses this idea that all the multiple entities are one reality, that Emerson names ‘the Over-soul’. Accordingly, a new identity will be found for every creature. The new discovered identity is ‘the universal soul’ that is the real essence of every substance. This new knowledge that all the dual concepts are one reality brings man a happier life since there is no difference between far and near, light and dark, poverty and wealth. Everything is near for man and in fact they are always present because the reality of all of them is one, what Emerson names in his ideology “the One”.
It is found through the poems that all the entities in the world are related to each other and their reality is one truth. “Each and All” is Emerson’s poem that represents his idea of the relation between each and all. It shows that all the substance in the universe are interrelated to each other and each entity without the whole reality is meaningless. It means that the reality of everything is the reality of the whole. The poem states that a bird’s sound is meaningless without the light of the sun, the sound of wind and the green color and the beauty of the trees. It shows that the meaning of everything is in its background. The poem reveals the unity through the universe to give a new identity to human being and other things in the world to manifests that the united soul of the world or ‘the Over-Soul’ is the reality of everything. This novel understanding helps man to have a wider and more delicate view of life, and also of the world. The living creatures are now related to him as their reality is one substance. Furthermore, all men are related to each other and to everything. They all are sacred as they are really ‘the Over-soul’. Each person learns that what he does to other men, he has done instead to himself. The entire world is beautiful since they are the truth.
In the poem “Unity”, a bird, “Cuckoo” that is the symbol of ‘the Over-Soul’, throws out other bird’s eggs, except his own, and takes their nests. The bird stands as a supreme power that overpowers other things and contains them. It is representative of Emerson’s ‘the Over-Soul’ that rules everything while it is their real essence. In fact, the poem shows that this power is the real identity of everything as it contains them and they are subdued to his power. Man to know that he is under the force of this universal entity finds his identity in that Soul and he will try to submit to it. It is the source of all goodness and this submission is sweet to man. It is probably the meaning of the Religion, Islam as also the meaning of the world: To relieve yourself to the eternal truth of existence.
Thinking to the advantages, and goodness the new mentioned identity brings to man
is endless. It is the initiation of a better life. Also, this new view to the man and the world makes the foundation of truth of the world tangible to everyone.
Chapter Four
New identity in Emerson’s Selected Poems

Author: mitra4--javid