Henry David Thoreau (né David Henry Thoreau, interestingly) is best-known for his essays. During his life, he was an abolitionist; today he is remembered for his writings on ecology and environmentalism. Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of his closest friends, and he was also friends with Walt Whitman. Thoreau was also a bit of a poet, as it turns out. Here's a very short poem from him.
My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.
I am, of course, mostly kidding there, altough certainly Thoreau seems to have been apologizing for not having written poetry. He did write more poems, though, and they're quite nice. And, of course, he's set me to wondering whether my life is a poem as well, and, if so, what sort of poem it is. Certainly not a limerick.
But thinking a bit about Henry David Thoreau reminds me of a picture book I bought to inspire me in my writing life. It's called Henry Works by D.B. Johnson, in which Henry is depicted as a bear. Love the artwork, love the text too. Here's the cover: