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Margaret Fuller: wrote first major work of feminism in the US

An inspiration on Walt Whitman

  • Flaxman
  • We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone, 
  • Which spake in Greek simplicty of thought, 
  • And in the forms of gods and heroes wrought 
  • Eternal beauty from the sculptured stone,— 
  • A higher charm than modern culture won 
  • With all the wealth of metaphysic lore, 
  • Gifted to analyze, dissect, explore. 
  • A many-colored light flows from one sun; 
  • Art, ‘neath its beams, a motely thread has spun; 
  • The prism modifies the perfect day; 
  • But thou hast known such mediums to shun, 
  • And cast once more on life a pure, white ray. 
  • Absorbed in the creations of thy mind, 
  • Forgetting daily self, my truest self I find.
  • The Highlands
  • Saw ye first, arrayed in mist and cloud; 
  • No cheerful lights softened your aspect bold; 
  • A sullen gray, or green, more grave and cold, 
  • The varied beauties of the scene enshroud. 
  • Yet not the less, O Hudson! calm and proud, 
  • Did I receive the impress of that hour 
  • Which showed thee to me, emblem of that power 
  • Of high resolve, to which even rocks have bowed; 
  • Thou wouldst not deign thy course to turn aside, 
  • And seek some smiling valley’s welcome warm, 
  • But through the mountain’s very heart, thy pride 
  • Has been, thy channel and thy banks to form. 
  • Not even the ‘bulwarks of the world’ could bar 
  • The inland fount from joining ocean’s war!
  • The Passion Flower
  • My love gave me a passion-flower.
  • I nursed it well — so brief its hour!
  • My eyelids ache, my throat is dry:
  • He told me that it would not die.
  • My love and I are one, and yet
  • Full oft my cheeks with tears are wet -
  • So sweet the night is and the bower!
  • My love gave me a passion-flower.
  • So sweet! Hold fast my hands. Can God
  • Make all this joy revert to sod,
  • And leave to me but this for dower -
  • My love gave me a passion-flower.
  • Winged Sphinx
  • Through brute nature upward rising, 
  • Seed up-striving to the light, 
  • Revelations still surprising, 
  • My inwardness is grown insight. 
  • Still I slight not those first stages, 
  • Dark but God-directed Ages; 
  • In my nature leonine 
  • Labored & learned a Soul divine; 
  • Put forth an aspect Chaste, Serene, 
  • Of nature virgin mother queen; 
  • Assumes at last the destined wings, 
  • Earth & heaven together brings; 
  • While its own form the riddle tells 
  • That baffled all the wizard spells 
  • Drawn from intellectual wells, 
  • Cold waters where truth never dwells: 
  • —It was fable told you so;— 
  • Seek her in common daylight’s glow.
Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) was an American writer and critic and an early advocate of the women’s rights movement. Considered an influential member of the Transcendentalist Movement – founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson – Fuller wrote the first major American work of feminism in the United States – Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845). She became the first editor of The Dial, the official publication of Transcendentalism in 1840 and joined the staff of Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune in 1844. Traveling to Italy to cover the revolutions taking place there, she eventually married Giovanni Ossoli, with whom she had a child. While returning to the U.S., the entire family died in a shipwreck off Fire Island, NY, in 1850. Her poetry had met with mixed reviews, although Walt Whitman took her work as an inspiration for his own attempt at writing poetry with a uniquely American identity.

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The “radical inclusiveness” of an openly LBGTQ+ pastor

To embrace the reality that faith is about action
  • Flaxman
  • We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone, 
  • Which spake in Greek simplicty of thought, 
  • And in the forms of gods and heroes wrought 
  • Eternal beauty from the sculptured stone,— 
  • A higher charm than modern culture won 
  • With all the wealth of metaphysic lore, 
  • Gifted to analyze, dissect, explore. 
  • A many-colored light flows from one sun; 
  • Art, ‘neath its beams, a motely thread has spun; 
  • The prism modifies the perfect day; 
  • But thou hast known such mediums to shun, 
  • And cast once more on life a pure, white ray. 
  • Absorbed in the creations of thy mind, 
  • Forgetting daily self, my truest self I find.
  • The Highlands
  • Saw ye first, arrayed in mist and cloud; 
  • No cheerful lights softened your aspect bold; 
  • A sullen gray, or green, more grave and cold, 
  • The varied beauties of the scene enshroud. 
  • Yet not the less, O Hudson! calm and proud, 
  • Did I receive the impress of that hour 
  • Which showed thee to me, emblem of that power 
  • Of high resolve, to which even rocks have bowed; 
  • Thou wouldst not deign thy course to turn aside, 
  • And seek some smiling valley’s welcome warm, 
  • But through the mountain’s very heart, thy pride 
  • Has been, thy channel and thy banks to form. 
  • Not even the ‘bulwarks of the world’ could bar 
  • The inland fount from joining ocean’s war!
  • The Passion Flower
  • My love gave me a passion-flower.
  • I nursed it well — so brief its hour!
  • My eyelids ache, my throat is dry:
  • He told me that it would not die.
  • My love and I are one, and yet
  • Full oft my cheeks with tears are wet -
  • So sweet the night is and the bower!
  • My love gave me a passion-flower.
  • So sweet! Hold fast my hands. Can God
  • Make all this joy revert to sod,
  • And leave to me but this for dower -
  • My love gave me a passion-flower.
  • Winged Sphinx
  • Through brute nature upward rising, 
  • Seed up-striving to the light, 
  • Revelations still surprising, 
  • My inwardness is grown insight. 
  • Still I slight not those first stages, 
  • Dark but God-directed Ages; 
  • In my nature leonine 
  • Labored & learned a Soul divine; 
  • Put forth an aspect Chaste, Serene, 
  • Of nature virgin mother queen; 
  • Assumes at last the destined wings, 
  • Earth & heaven together brings; 
  • While its own form the riddle tells 
  • That baffled all the wizard spells 
  • Drawn from intellectual wells, 
  • Cold waters where truth never dwells: 
  • —It was fable told you so;— 
  • Seek her in common daylight’s glow.
Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) was an American writer and critic and an early advocate of the women’s rights movement. Considered an influential member of the Transcendentalist Movement – founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson – Fuller wrote the first major American work of feminism in the United States – Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845). She became the first editor of The Dial, the official publication of Transcendentalism in 1840 and joined the staff of Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune in 1844. Traveling to Italy to cover the revolutions taking place there, she eventually married Giovanni Ossoli, with whom she had a child. While returning to the U.S., the entire family died in a shipwreck off Fire Island, NY, in 1850. Her poetry had met with mixed reviews, although Walt Whitman took her work as an inspiration for his own attempt at writing poetry with a uniquely American identity.

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