Sunday 23 February 2014


2014-08  Emerson: Mountain and the Squirrel Fable

Mountain and the Squirrel

A poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson which truly showcases the problem of complexes in human beings. The poem depicts a mountain carrying forests on its back but cannot crack a nut. And a squirrel that can crack a nut but cannot carry forests on its back. So none is superior or inferior in this world. All creatures serve as spokes in the wheel of life. God acts as the hub holding everything together. The poem:

The Mountain And The Squirrel       by  Ralph Waldo Emerson
The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter
“Little prig.”
Bun replied,
“You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together

To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.

If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut
Compare this with a similar idea expressed by the Tamil Poetess Auvaiyar [13P18]:

Look at the weaver bird's wondrous nest, 
The beautiful lac or the ancient white ant's hill;
The hive of the honey bee or the spider's web;
No mortal man can imitate these.
Let no one, therefore, vaunt his skill
Because he can do this or that.
There is none but in something excels.

[வான் குருவியின் கூடு வல்லரக்குத் தொல் கறையான் 
தேன் சிலம்பி யாவர்க்கும் செய்யரிதால்  யாம் பெரிதும் 
வல்லோமே என்று வலிமை சொல வேண்டாம் காண்
எல்லோர்க்கும் ஒவ்வொன்று எளிது.] 
Emerson: Mountain and the Squirrel Fable YouTube Video [Click here]

Emerson: Mountain and the Squirrel Fable Video [Click here]

1 comment:

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