In his contrarian way, Thoreau in this chapter of Walden is redefining solitude not as something lonely or sad, but as a source of renewal.
Popular songs often have a different spin on solitude. Duke Ellington wrote the most famous song by that title, and Billie Holiday gave it its definitive vocal rendition in 1941.
Fully aware that this is not the kind of solitude Henry had in mind, I’m embedding this song in the spirit of Henry’s comments a few days ago about the pleasure of listening to the mournful owl, and as evidence that there’s more than one way to enjoy “Solitude.”
(About “A Year in Walden”)