Henry David Thoreau

1817–1862
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau, who wrote his famous “Civil Disobedience” essay after spending a night in jail for refusing to pay a poll tax, was an outspoken abolitionist and served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad in his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. For two years, he lived simply and deliberately in a small, hand-built cabin near Walden Pond. The transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, a close friend, owned the land. Thoreau died at 44 of a flare-up of tuberculosis, which he had contracted as a student at Harvard University.

What People are Saying

"I do Poetry Out Loud because the everyday me is very shy and easily stumbles over words, mangling meaning and botching simple conversations. Yet, when I recite poetry it is an opportunity for me to become someone else––an embodiment of the poem. Slowly, step by step, I think Poetry Out Loud is helping me to become a braver, more confident person, even if I still tremble when I get on stage."
Rose Horowitz
2016 ME POL Champion