The author of this week’s passage was E.B. White, from his essay “A Slight Sound at Evening,” written for the centenary of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. The essay begins:
In his journal for July 10-12, 1841, Thoreau wrote: “A slight sound at evening lifts me up by the ears, and makes life seem inexpressibly serene and grand. It may be in Uranus, or it may be in the shutter.” The book into which he later managed to pack both Uranus and the shutter was published in 1854, and now, a hundred years having gone by, Walden, its serenity and grandeur unimpaired, still lifts us up by the ears, still translates for us that language we are in danger of forgetting, “which all things and events speak without metaphor, which alone is copious and standard.”
This essay appears in the delightful collection Essays of E.B. White.