Tuesday, May 29, 2012


A note about the relation between Henry Thoreau and Emerson's second wife based of her daughter Ellen's memoir.

Ellen Emerson Remembers How Her Mother's
        Chickens Came Home To Roost

When winter's frigid weather first set in
mother thought of her chicken's featherless feet,
found cotton waste which she wound tight around
the slender beam on which her chickens chose
to roost. When spring came she found she could not
tolerate her hens held captive in pens
as she could not tolerate enslavement
of humans. They were set loose to find their
own way back to roost. When the hens, following
their natural inclination, scratched up seeds
in her garden, she called on her good friend,
Henry Thoreau, who made for each hen a pair
of neat leather boots, gently disarming
  • the offending feet. And when, in the end 
  • it came time to slaughter the innocents
  • she decided to give up raising hens.

We are told, when a neighbor's barn burned, Mrs Emerson comment shocker the onlookers: "At least the rats escaped."

There have been academic speculations that Henry may have been falling, or had fallen in love with her. Those notes suggest they might have made a match.  If I remember I have a bolo I'll have some comments on their correspondence later. Summer is hear. A very large snapping turtle just dug up all the softened ground by the shore where I had just planted seed.

No comments:

Post a Comment