I do think that Emerson is a crappy writer.
He almost didn’t graduate from college, I’ve read.
The only thing I appreciate in his essays:
His use of the trope of the horizon.
I can read him in some small sympathy only because
In any place I’ve lived
I’ve sought out a certain vantage point
To see the delineation of a far-off match of ground and sky
And sometimes woke at dawn to see the sun rise over it.
This would help me out, somehow, of a deep fog.
What makes the horizon cathartic,
I don’t know, or why we create
Situations to frame
In college, I would cry when the sun set in burning stripes and dusty sky
And feel a future promised by the yellow lemonade light of the morning sun.
I saw a dove (really) outside my window once,
In Massachusetts, after a long, dark and icy winter
Sleeping in the pale sunlight on the cement window ledge,
Silhouetted against the Holyoke Range just beginning to turn green
And I had a “catharsis,” some kind of structured bursting through
Of clarity. Maybe we have these, and seek out horizons,
Because there would be no point in looking
Unless at some point we saw what we were looking for,
And realized what we were looking at,
And how far away it is
Or, how close we’ve allowed it to come.