If Ralph Waldo Emerson
’s “The Rhodora
” can be considered a beautiful nature poem, one should first take into account the theme. If Emerson’s poem is about nature, then it’s possible that it could be presenting nature in a beautiful way. Sure enough, the poem centers on nature and the pink or purple flower that’s featured in the poem’s title.
Now, take a look at the tone. If Emerson talks about nature in a positive, attractive light, it can be reasoned that he’s composing a beautiful nature poem, because beauty is often considered a positive, attractive feature.
Interestingly, Emerson uses the word “beauty” twice to describe the flower. In line 6, Emerson notes how the “beauty” of the flower make the “black water” rich and cheerful. In line 12, Emerson declares that the flower doesn’t require a profound reason for being because “beauty is its own excuse for Being.”
With the inclusion of beauty, it seems safe to conclude that Emerson’s poem can be considered a beautiful flower poem. When it comes to nature, separate from the rhodora, the depiction is rather violent and desolate. The “sea-winds” are cutting, the stream is “sluggish,” and the water is “black.” Based on these images, nature, by itself, is not so beautiful, which means the poem might not be too beautiful.
However, the discovery of the rhodora serves as an antidote to the bleak landscape of the woods. Thus, by the power of the beautiful rhodora, Emerson’s poem arguably becomes a beautiful nature poem.