One of the good pieces of advice…is it?
Who wrote those remarkable lines?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was part of a movement called Transcendentalism.
The people around Emerson laid the philosophical base for a lot of important developments in our world. They thought about the individual being part of a society. Their thought was that humans should live a free, self responsible life, turning attention to nature. This in their philosophy would bring profit for the individual and for the society, people are living in.
It is said, that those ideas influenced the women liberation movement, the liberation of slaves in America, they influenced Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and others.
So Emerson and his companions were important thinkers as well for the American history as for the world history.
In this context I read the poem on two levels.
It’s as an advice, not to relay on moral guidelines of any society and not be slave to those guidelines.
It is a demand, to follow ones heart and ones feelings, in any case.
When a love begins, its only chance to develop is, to give everything to it. Love can only grow with trust and perspectives.
In a metaphorical sense ‘love’ can be replaced by ‘idea’.
But to give all to that one love, to have all perspectives is on the other hand no guarantee, that every young love grows to a deep and consistent love.
For that case, the poem gives the advice to face reality, to let it go.
Because it’s very likely, that a better love is waiting…’when half-gods leave, the gods arrive’.
But that of course is apart from all guidelines of society very difficult for many people.
To let someone or an idea go, to farewell is often much harder, than to welcome.
Nevertheless the advice is very good on several layers, not only on a very personal level for everybody, but as well for our societies.
It’s very helpful to know, how to part without being damaged. With the trust, that something better is ahead.
So I agree, this is indeed one of the good pieces of advice.
Just the answer to the question, how to achieve that, how to learn that, is not given…