What is an analysis of Emerson's poem "Sursum Corda"?

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem "Sursum Corda" is a short work that highlights the power of the Holy Spirit and its intents and comings and goings as the wind. The poem is one stanza of eleven lines.

Emerson is also highlighting that if one has the zeal to know God and diligently seeks the Spirit, he or she will find it. One does not have to worry if they perceive the Spirit is hiding from them, their zeal for the Spirit will ensure they attain it because the Spirit is...

     Inexorable to thy zeal:

...in other words, inescapable to one's zeal. Emerson is also saying that Heaven has already cast their lot with the person. Heaven will achieve its goals for the person who truly desires God, Truth, the Son, and the Spirit.

Emerson tells the reader not to lower themselves to poor excuses in their desire for the Spirit. One is to stand fast and let the Spirit do what it pleases, because, in the end, as already mentioned, if Heaven has chosen one for future glory, there is nothing to worry about for one who honestly desires God's holy power. The truth is that the Spirit dictates the relationship between humankind and God, and not vice-versa.

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