Thus to him, to this schoolboy under the bending dome of day, is suggested that he and it proceed from one root; one is leaf and one is flower; relation, sympathy, stirring in every vein. And what is that root? Is not that the soul of his soul?
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Oration, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983).)
Of course we women gossip on occasion. But our appetite for it is not as avid as a man's. It is in the boys' gyms, the college fraternity houses, the club locker rooms, the paneled offices of business that gossip reaches its luxuriant flower.
(Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978), U.S. poet, author. "Some of My Best Friends ...," The Province of the Heart (1959).)
The great events of life often leave one unmoved; they pass out of consciousness, and, when one thinks of them, become unreal. Even the scarlet flowers of passion seem to grow in the same meadow as the poppies of oblivion.
(Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Erskine, in The Portrait of Mr. W.H., ch. 1, first published in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (July 1889).)
It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flowerand this is the burthen of the curse of Babel.
(Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).)
While making this portage I saw many splendid specimens of the great purple fringed orchis, three feet high. It is remarkable that such delicate flowers should here adorn these wilderness paths.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Allegash and East Branch" (1864) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 232, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
If men will believe it, sua si bona norint, there are no more quiet Tempes, nor more poetic and Arcadian lives, than may be lived in these New England dwellings. We thought that the employment of their inhabitants by day would be to tend the flowers and herds, and at night, like the shepherds of old, to cluster and give names to the stars from the river banks.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 257, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
You may chisel a boy into shape, as you would a rock, or hammer him into it, if he be of a better kind, as you would a piece of bronze. But you cannot hammer a girl into anything. She grows as a flower does.
(John Ruskin (1819-1900), British art critic, author. repr. in The Works of John Ruskin, vol. 18, eds. E.T. Cook and Alexander Weddesburn (1905). Sesame and Lilies, lecture 2, sct. 78 (1865).)
The fable, which is naturally and truly composed, so as to satisfy the imagination, ere it addresses the understanding, beautiful though strange as a wild-flower, is to the wise man an apothegm, and admits of his most generous interpretation.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 58, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)