“Read not the Times. Read the Eternities.” . . . July 12 is the birthday of Henry David Thoreau. His name is synonymous with Walden; or, Life in the Woods, one of the most provocative and influential works of American literature. Thoreau built his cabin at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts, in 1845 and stayed there for two years, two months and two days. He spent nearly four times as long working on the manuscript as he actually spent in the woods, writing eight different drafts before the book was published in 1854. By that time, he considered his (relative) solitude at Walden strictly an experiment.