1] Brahma: Hindu god and spirit of the universe itself. Emerson used the Vishnu Purana as the source for his ideas here (Richardson 407). Cf. Andrew M. McLean, "Emerson's Brahma as an Expression of Brahmin," NEQ 42 (Mar. 1964): 115-22, and
K. W. Cameron, "The Reception of Emerson's 'Brahma': Parodies and Paraphrases," ARLR 2 (1988): 165-90.
12] Brahmin: caste of Hindu high priests and teachers.
14] Perhaps the seven greatly wise priests from one of whom each Brahmin was expected to trace his origins: Atri, Bharadvaja, Gautama, Jamadagni, Kashyapa, Vasishtha, and Vishvamitra.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: May-day and Other Pieces (London: G. Routledge, 1867)
PS 1624 .M3 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1857
Publication date note: Atlantic Monthly.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/12/24
Composition date note: Richardson, Robert D., Jr., Emerson: the Mind on Fire: a Biography (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1996): 539.
Other poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson