T H E  W I L D   L I L Y   I N S T I T U T E

                               Postage Stamp of Louisa May Alcott


“Love is a great beautifier."

―Louisa May Alcott

September: Featuring Louisa May Alcott

Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.

― Louisa May Alcott


Louisa May Alcott:

Excerpts from the article Louisa May Alcott’s Transcendentalism

March 19, 2019      Live Ideas Journal.org    Read entire article . . . 


Louisa May Alcott was serendipitously surrounded by the greatest thinkers of her time and transcendentalism in general. Her father, Bronson Alcott, showed her an idealistic and ultimately unworkable version of the movement. One of Bronson’s essays showcases his idealistic notions by discussing the person of Jesus, and how the ideal of Jesus’ humanness must be brought forth. “It is the mission of this Age, to revive his Idea, give it currency, and reinstate it in the faith of men. By its quickening agency, it is to fructify our common nature, and reproduce its like…it is to reproduce Perfect Men” (Alcott 2000, 170).

Throughout Louisa’s childhood, Bronson pursued philosophical ideas by establishing the Temple School where he sought to teach children according to his transcendental ideas. His goal was to teach students to “learn to feel rightly, to think rightly, and to act rightly” (Alcott 2000, 58). The Temple School, like most of Bronson’s experiments, ultimately failed due to lack of parental support. Some of Bronson’s ideas were too much for parents to handle (Alcott 2000, 80). He was simply not practical enough to make his ideals last.

Soon after the closing of the Temple School, the family moved to a farmstead to establish a utopian society dubbed Fruitlands. There, they attempted to live off the land, follow a strict vegetarian diet, and more fully implement the ideas that Bronson deemed important (Matteson 2007, 126). Fruitlands was a terrible failure. The Alcotts were subjected to backbreaking work but barely survived the winter. After a little less than a year on the homestead, they left (Matteson 2007, 163). Although Louisa had seen her father’s transcendentalist projects fail, she still believed in the philosophy as much as he did, and blamed the setbacks on poor planning and execution. In her books, she would correct his mistakes.

 Louisa’s mother Abba was as radical as her husband in terms of her belief in the values of transcendentalism and the need of social reform. “My life is one of daily protest against the oppressions of abuses of Society,” she wrote to her brother, Samuel May (Matteson 2007, 212). She became mentor and provider for many “lost girls, abused wives, friendless children, and weak or wicked men” (Matteson 2007, 212). She was a strong advocate of women’s suffrage, and it was her lifelong dream to vote. But after Fruitlands and the Temple School, Abba had gone through much at the hands of Bronson. She had less interest in a complete ideology and more in what practical tools transcendentalism offered to achieve happiness. It was her attitude of cheerful perseverance that inspired Louisa most of all. “Two of Abba’s favorite maxims were: ‘Love your duty and you will be happy’ and ‘Hope, and Keep busy,’ an instruction she tucked into Louisa’s journal in 1845 and which the March sisters adopt as their motto in a moment of family crisis in Little Women” (McFall 2018).

 Louisa lived through the idealized experiments of Bronson and his cohorts. She had watched her mother be the workhorse of Fruitlands and the constant bridge between Bronson’s ideas and their family’s survival. She valued the ideas of transcendentalism, but valued still more the practical method of applying them. This was more akin to Emerson’s ideas than Bronson’s; and also tied in her own experiences.

To her, self-reliance and self-reform were the fruit of work. Self-reform was the active method of becoming self-reliant, and work would provide both values. Louisa herself was something of a workaholic, and understandably so – she nearly single-handedly kept her family financially afloat when she was old enough, and was able to provide a comfortable retirement for her mother and pay back her family’s debts (Matteson 2007, 388).

This value of hard work as the path to meaning and self-reliance, and ultimately, happiness, is evident throughout Louisa’s works of fiction. It’s woven into her novels and outright argued in many places. She uses children’s’ stories as the platform to improve upon the transcendental ideas ingrained into her and focus on their true outcome, that of happiness. Specifically, Little Women and An Old-Fashioned Girl, published within a year and a half of one another, showcase Alcott’s ability to translate transcendentalism into a children’s novel without losing the integrity of either subject matter. 

Louisa invited her readers simply to feel as she felt through her writing. A reader who understood and believed Alcott’s message accepted transcendentalism, even if they didn’t know the term. Her writing is a form of literary activism, promoting progressive ideas about women’s rights, gender roles, and the best and most healthy way to live (Lenahan 2012, 28). Alcott’s writing is full of people experiencing happiness by changing their emotions rather than changing the world around them – the basic message of anti-intellectual transcendentalism.


            Movie Night with Voetelle

Visit our two YouTube sites for movies produced during Covid.

YouTube Specials

                   Self Portraits by Isaacson

Emily Isaacson is a poet with both Canadian and American influences, who is a dual citizen. She is currently the director of the Wild Lily Institute in British Columbia. Her prolific verse and multimedia art bring poetry to life: she has created over 50 videos of her poetry, and hosted a weekly poetry movie on YouTube during Covid lockdown. In the last fifteen years her sites have been visited over 1.7 million times by more than 45 countries. She is also an arts advocate who has taught on Creative Writing. She has a Bachelor of Science from Bastyr University in Seattle and is currently in school full-time in Social Work.

She now invites you to her secret cache of over 35 photos, taken by herself over a time span of 15 years.

All photos are under copyright by WLI. To use any of these photos for media purposes, please contact us.

Visit Gallery of 35 Photos

The Fleur-de-lis

What is Emily Isaacson's claim to fame?


She was chosen to write the sacred manuscript of The Fleur-de-lis to commemorate the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.  


This historical book of Canadiana literature contained over 800 poems in English and French and was published in three volumes. 


Not only that,  it was her first real publication of her work, and took her over 5 years to complete. She claims this divine invitation was given to her by God and that it is a prophetic and anointed work.  


Read more about this amazing book . . .  

Quote . . .

  "But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; 

   they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh."  

                  -- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own 

Read about how to make Coco Gello with Emily


               ISAACSON's Latest Poetry


              ISAACSON's Next Book

             ISAACSON's Complete Works

What is length of the complete works?

Isaacson's complete works includes over 1600 poems in chronological order, ranging from age 13 to her most recent unpublished works. The book is at present approximately 1,100 pages.

We are taking offers from publishers at this time, although the book publication may go to the highest bidder who is a traditional publisher.

Poetry from ages past. . . 


  Visit the medieval clothing store Armstreet:  Chess Queen

Women In Art:  Exhibited now by the Abbotsford Arts Council 

see Emily Isaacson's photographic art  here.

    Now visit an original 2006 website, which has been kept intact in our archives:


The Wild Lily Institute

The philosophy of the Wild Lily is kindness.

Be kind to those who love you.

Be kind to those who don't understand you. . .  

Photographer and Poet

Photograph Hayward Lake by Emily Isaacson

Bringing Poetry to Life with Multimedia Since 2005 


What of the very dust of the earth when it is brittle and dry?

Could we not repent and our tears soak from

the sky, making wells in the desert.

--Emily Isaacson, A Familiar Shore

Own the Poetry Yourself


by Emily Isaacson  

She predicted how to survive the recession,

on your creativity, colour, and romance . . .

Released in 2017!

What is a Wild Lily?

Emily Carr wrote in her books about the fields of wild lilies in early British Columbia. If you are wondering what a wild lily is, well it refers in this case to any earth-bound lily in contrast to the gilded lily or fleur-de-lis.

Poetry Quote​

Butterfly Tears

I once said I love you

and that love remains;

constant through years,

the blood in my veins.

I never will leave you,

be I poor or of wealth,

as the sun crosses the sky,

without guile, without stealth.

And though the ashes remain of our years,

they are sacred because of our butterfly tears.

--Emily Isaacson


Isaacson's Hourglass 

Isaacson's Hourglass poetry

of the United Kingdom,

is emblazoned with its symbols,

character and resonance.

Written by Emily Isaacson,

it is poetry from her book


Isaacson's Hourglass details the

poetry of a waning empire,

on the verge of transformation.

Read more on Victoriana in our Bookstore . . .

Over 1.7 Million Visits

 1  6  1 , 2 4 4   visitors       

1,  7  9  8 ,  2  4  4   visits to All Wild Lily sites.

What are WLI sites?              

Over 2000 Likes To The WLI   

                                                                                                                                          Like Us On facebook

What are the WLI Facebook Pages?

Spiritual Life

Take courage and find solace in your faith ...

Visit our page of encouragement 

Love in the Time of Plague 

Visit our Recommended Reading List of the Month

Visit here: September pics

Toward the replanting of a land—

once deserted, cold, and barren, still;

now citrus, and the olive, myrtle stand,

our pride in the distance, through the hills

spilling fine perfume and virgin oil.

Early songs still rise from temple mount

amid the prayers, centuries old toil.

--Emily Isaacson, The Replanting

House of Rain

         "Terror is never considered the means to education."


Emily Isaacson