Each mind has its own method.
You go to be teachers,
to become physicians, lawyers, divines.
Statesmen, naturalists, philanthropists.
I hope, some of you, to be the men of letters,
Those whose minds have not been subdued
by the drill of school education.
How wearisome the grammarian,
the phrenologist, the political or religious fanatic,
or indeed any possessed mortal.
The fears and agitations of men who watch the markets,
the crops, the plenty or scarcity of money,
or other superficial events, are not for him.
I wish him to live by his strength, not by his weakness.
Our people have this fear to offend,
do not wish to be misunderstood.
Do not wish, of all things, to be in the minority.
Rely on yourself.
Every thought is a prison.
The rare gift of poetry already sparkles, and may yet burn.
The world has a million writers,
But the constructive powers are rare,
it is given to few men to be poets.
The writer restores.
Speak, whether there be any who understand it or not.
*From "Intellect" and "Man of Letters" by Ralph Waldo Emerson