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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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In a Barque of Bark

In a Barque of Bark

(p.188) (p.189) 10 In a Barque of Bark
Thoreau and the Language of Trees

Richard Higgins

Richard Higgins

University of California Press

Thoreau loved the ocean and was more of an old salt than is known. But he lived in inland Concord. So he wrote of the forest, metaphorically, as a maritime main, a sea of green on which he sailed. He imagined trees as schooners and barques he navigated across the treetops. He called on ports as he sailed the woods of Concord. Thoreau’s extended nautical imagery of trees tapped into widespread love of the sea in American culture then, and linked his personal love of the ocean and his love of the woods.

Keywords:   ocean, old salt, inland, metaphorically, maritime, sea, sea of green, sailed, sail, sailor, sailing, imagined, ship, ships, schooners, barques, navigated, treetops, nautical

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