by Margaret Fuller

About the Author

Margaret Fuller was a strong feminist writer and revered literary critic in the 1800's. Her transcendentalist beliefs led her to work with Ralph Waldo Emerson, a well known figure and transcendentalist at the time. She wrote a journal with a group of people based around their similar lifestyles called the Dial. One of her most prominent works was her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century, in which she expresses her feminist beliefs. She also wrote many poems and essays, and she was one of the most brilliant female writers of all time. http://www.biography.com/people/margaret-fuller-9303889
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Flaxman by Margaret Fuller

We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone,

Which spake in Greek simplicity 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 motley 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.


My Interpretation and Theme

I think that the poem means that when you forget about the daily things happening around you and look for a deeper meaning to life, only then will you truly have the knowledge of the world. Fuller was a transcendentalist, and I believe that the sculptures made by John Flaxman intrigued her, because she saw more to them than the daily eye would see. She firmly believed in a deeper purpose, and I think her purpose was finding the extreme beauty in every aspect of life. I also think that the theme is to find what makes you forget about yourself and find what makes you one with nature and a higher being than yourself. Fuller's main theme is: To find true happiness, you must connect with nature and the world on a deeper level than anything else.