He was a poet, a mystic, a transcendentalist, a nonconformist, and a close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He condemned government for supporting slavery and was jailed when he refused to pay his Massachusetts poll tax. He is well known for his novel about the two years of simple living he spent on the edge of Walden Pond called "Walden" , Or Life in the Woods. This novel furthered many idealistic thoughts. He was a great transcendentalist writer who not only wrote many great things, but who also encouraged, by his writings, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.