Exaggerated history is poetry, and truth referred to a new standard.

What did Henry David Thoreau mean by:

Exaggerated history is poetry, and truth referred to a new standard.


This quote suggests that when history is exaggerated, it transforms into a form of poetry. This is because poetry, like exaggerated history, often relies on hyperbole, symbolism, and other forms of creative license to make its point, rather than sticking strictly to the facts. Thoreau seems to be saying that there’s a certain beauty and value in this kind of creative interpretation of history, as it can help to convey deeper truths and emotions that a simple factual account might miss.

The second part of the quote, "truth referred to a new standard," suggests that our understanding of truth is not fixed, but rather can be reframed or redefined based on new perspectives or standards. It’s a reminder that truth is often subjective and can be interpreted differently based on one’s point of view.

In today’s world, this quote might be applied in the context of the ongoing debates about the nature of truth and facts in our society. In the era of "fake news" and alternative facts, Thoreau’s quote reminds us that truth is often a matter of perspective and interpretation, and that it’s important to be open to different viewpoints and to question our own assumptions.

In terms of personal development, this quote might be seen as a call to embrace our own unique interpretations of the world and to value our individual perspectives. It suggests that there’s value in seeing things from a different angle and in questioning the standard narratives or assumptions. This can lead to greater self-awareness, creativity, and critical thinking skills.

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