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Thoreau and the Language of Trees$
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Richard Higgins and Robert D. Richardson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520294042

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520294042.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

An Eye for Trees

An Eye for Trees

Chapter:
(p.8) (p.9) 1 An Eye for Trees
Source:
Thoreau and the Language of Trees
Author(s):

Richard Higgins

Richard Higgins

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520294042.003.0002

Thoreau observed the shape, color, texture and stance of trees. His eye took in all—root, trunk, bark, branch and crown, leaf, blossom and cone. He knew them all over Concord—birches, basswoods, hornbeams, pines and hemlocks in pastures and on hills. He loved big trees, like great pasture oaks and pines that rose like spires in the forest. But he loved small or common trees no less. His eye never tired of the details that differentiate one tree from another. “A tree seen against other trees is a mere dark mass, but against the sky it has parts, has symmetry and expression.” Examining those details was more than observation for him. It was an act of contemplation.

Keywords:   observed, shape, color, stance, root, trunk, bark, branch crown, leaf, blossom, cone, elm, pasture oak, birch, basswood, hornbeam, hemlock, pastures, meadows, rectitude, symmetry

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