Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes signed autographed stanza from The Chambered Nautilus

Oliver Wendell Holmes signed autographed stanza from The Chambered Nautilus

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes signed and dated autographed stanza from his famous poem, "The Chambered Nautilus." On paper,  7" x 4.25." Dated "Boston March 8th, 1858", and signed in full as "Oliver Wendell Holmes". Page is lightly toned with one small spot of ink smudged. Affixed to another sheet, 8.75" x 6".

 

An outstanding autographed stanza from this treasured poem.

With its rich imagery and ringing verse, "The Chambered Nautilus," by Oliver Wendell Holmes, is one of the most enduring nature poems of the mid-nineteenth century. Its subject is the nautilus, a sea creature that lives inside a spiral shell. As it grows, the nautilus makes new, larger chambers of its shell in which to live, closing off the old chambers and gradually forming a spiral. Holmes compares the nautilus to a "ship of pearl" sailing through enchanted but dangerous waters until it is wrecked. The speaker or narrator of the poem uses the nautilus as a metaphor for the human soul, stressing that its example provides a "heavenly message" of how people should grow and develop through their lives. At the end of the poem, Holmes emphasizes the idea that humans expand their horizons until they achieve the spiritual freedom of heaven or the afterlife.

 

Shown in full below:

 

"Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, 

As the swift seasons roll! 

Leave thy low-vaulted past! 

Let each new temple, nobler than the last, 

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 

Till thou at length art free, 

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Boston March 8th, 1858"

 

Although it may appear abstract or timeless, "The Chambered Nautilus" is grounded in the world of mid-nineteenth-century Boston, sometimes called the American Renaissance because of its flowering in literature, philosophy, and culture.

 

A superb example.

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Item: 63919

Price: $1,100.00
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Oliver Wendell HolmesOliver Wendell Holmes
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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