I find it difficult to agree with Edgar Allan Poe’s comment about Transcendental authors. He ridiculed their writings in particular by calling them “metaphor-run,” lapsing into “obscurity for obscurity’s sake” or “mysticism for mysticism’s sake.”
The truth is that a great poet’s hunger for eternity takes him to esoteric and transcendental flights. What , then, is the essence of transcendentalism ? Before answering this question, it is indispensable to understand Transcendentalism. It is idealistic and mystical, and influenced by Plato, Plotinus, the Sufists and the Buddhists.
Basic to understand Transcendentalism, is the view of Graham Brown: “ Man may fulfill his divine potentialities either through rapt mystical state, in which the divine is infused into the human, or through coming into contact with the truth, beauty, and goodness embodied in nature and originating in the Over-Soul. Thus occurs the correspondence between the tangible world and the human mind, and the identity of moral and physical laws.”
Transcendentalism seems to be in Dante’s bones as in his magnum opus The Divine Comedy he is employing images which are mystical, and “originating in the Over-Soul” (Graham Brown). All transcendental authors are inspired by the tradition of Dante.
The Nobel Laureate T. S. Eliot aptly remarks: ”What we learn from Dante, or the Bhagavad-Gita, or any other religious poetry is what it feels like to believe that religion.”
The quietest sounds, and innerness of Transcendentalism provide more warmth to T. S .Eliot than words which as T.S. Eliot says never “stay still”:
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.