letters, and the ensnarement of the “trade and the streets”, but the world-soul with its presence in the world solves the problems. The poem speaks of this universal reality as “the saving angel” that sits among the human beings in some disguise: “in a stranger’s form, / Or woman’s pleading eyes; / Or only a flashing sunbeam (25-27). Even it will appear “in at the window-pane,” or in some piece of music with “its beautiful disdain”. Dilworth states that “the saving angel” is the ubiquitous presence of . He writes that Emerson is hopeful as a Transcendentalist that returns to a positive formulation in his ‘evil is good in the making’ as he later expressed it in the “Considerations by the Way” of 1860. This positive view is shown through the poem as against the mentioned litany of human plots and failures the saving angel sits somewhere nearby as a solution to the problems (292). This universal soul is the power that penetrates into the “cellars” and the “factory” and it signals each person with “yon ridge of the purple landscape”, and “yon sky between the walls”.
Rumi, the Persian poet says the same idea in previous paragraph, in his poetic language in Mathnavi:
Where are threshold and dais in reality? Where the Beloved is, where are “we” and “I”? O Thou whose soul is free from “we” and “I”, O Thou who are the essence of the spirit in men and women,
When men and women become one, Thou art that One; when the unites are wiped out, lo, Thou art that Unity. (Nicholson 1925)
Rumi reveals that the Unity of the universe is not in fact “I”, “you” and “we”. It is the real essence of everyone that manifests itself in many ways.
The lines thirty four and thirty eight of “The World-Soul” echo stanza sixteen of “The Sphinx” (۱۸۴۷). In “The World-Soul” Emerson displays the traces of the universal reality as the spirit that penetrates into the cellars and in the factories, a woman’s pleading eyes and also a flashing sunbeam. Similarly, in the poem “The Sphinx”, the universal soul displays itself everywhere:
She melted into purple cloud,
She silvered in the moon;
She spired into a yellow flame;
She flowered in blossoms red;
She flowed into a foaming wave;
She stood Monadnoc’s head. (123-128)
The poems in the mentioned lines display that the universal soul is present everywhere as it appears in many shapes. It is a foaming wave, blossoms, purple cloud, yellow fame, sun beam and generally it is everything. The poems introduce a new identity for everything. In this way, the reality of each substance in the world is ‘the Over-Soul’ that manifests itself in multiple ways.
In a comparison among “The World-Soul” and other poems, the poems “The World-Soul”, “Brahma” and “Unity” illustrate that there is an omnipresent universal truth that exists in the world and rules it.
Dilworth asserts the world-soul which is the energetic genius of nature is never thwarted and it overpowers everything: “The seeds of land and sea / Are the atoms of his body bright, /And his behest obey (86-88).” It “serveth the servant,” and loves the brave; it “kills the cripple and the sick, /And straight begins again (91-92)” (۲۹۲). In “Unity” a bird that can stand for the universal power of the world and names cuckoo throws out all the other bird’s eggs from the nest except his own. Consequently, the poem displays that the universal soul in the world overpowers and controls everything.
As it was mentioned, other than “Unity”, there are also likenesses between the poems “The World-Soul” and “Brahma”. The world-soul is the destiny which “serveth the servant,” and loves the brave. Also, it “kills the cripple and the sick, / And straight begins again” (۹۱-۹۲).These lines reiterate some lines of the poem “Brahma” “If the red slayer think he slays, / Or if the slain think he is slain,” (All poems 1-2). Both poems through these lines show the power of the universal reality that governs everything. This universal spirit kills the cripple and the sick, serves the servant in “The World-Soul” and also is both the red slayer that kills and the slain in “Brahma”. Emerson states in most of his essays, that this universal truth is the encompassing power in the world which rules the whole universe. He declares that ‘the Over-Soul’ is the power that is not an organ, but animates and exercises all organs, it is not a faculty, but a light; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and will (Collected Works5:110). Emerson maintains this belief artistically in the poem “The World-Soul” in some other lines a new way: ‘The Over-Soul’ is the ever changing power that controls “the old world” and makes a fairer world. It is in fact the “unimagined good of men” which “forbids to despair”.
Lastly, it can be said that “The World-Soul” states Emerson’s idea of unity, the belief that reveals the unity among all the essence in the existence. The world-soul is the united soul of the world which both contains the existence and as it was explained in previous paragraphs, controls it. It manifests itself through many things as morning, noon sun, night star and the power that controls everything. Furthermore, It is indicated in the poem that the world-soul that is the reality of everything is the “unimagined good of men”. Consequently, man is the real essence of everything and there is oneness among man and other essence. Finally, it shows that the world-soul is the truth of everything, so it is present in every creature.