Home > Emerson R. W., Philosophy > On premature utterances

On premature utterances

I had observed long since that to give the thought a just & full expression, I must not prematurely utter it. Better not to talk of the matter you are writing out. It was as if you had let the spring snap too soon. [Emerson, Journal A]

For a while now, since completing my reading of Emerson’s Essays & Lectures, I have felt that this blog has outlived its usefulness. In its early stages, the prospect of a readership induced me to write; without such a prospect in my mind, I would not have written out my ideas. Today, thanks to my efforts here, I am in the habit of writing for myself, and do not need an external audience – at least not yet. That has been the good effect of my blogging.

What, however, have I posted here but premature utterances, if my posts be considered in themselves and not for their role as a sort of training? Every idea on which I wrote was one I was in the process of working out but had not worked out fully. Nothing was a finished project, but always a work in progress. Yet the air of finality given them has, perhaps, prevented their further development: they were dropped from the tree before they were ripe, and now they rot.

For that reason, I believe it is time to cease blogging – but not writing. I now retreat into the solitude of my own thoughts, and set to work on myself for myself.

  1. 2014/10/18 at 21:42

    Best of luck–and you know how to reach me with more finished work. I have enjoyed the exposure to your thoughts. –JSS

    • 2014/10/18 at 21:49

      Thanks Jeff. I am still happy to respond to comments on old posts, should you ever read one and wish to talk about it.

      Though I haven’t commented recently (if ever), I read your blog with pleasure. I see you put your email in a recent post; perhaps I will share with you a poem I have written – the one poem I believe I have finished, to date. If you would be interested, of course.

    • 2014/10/18 at 21:54


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