Henry David Thoreau

(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''The poet is he who can write some pure mythology today without the aid of posterity.''
    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. 60, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''No domain of nature is quite closed to man at all times.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Winter Walk" (1843), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 178, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Conclusion," Walden (1854).
  • ''It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are ... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, April 10, 1853, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 219, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''How prompt we are to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our bodies; how slow to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our souls!''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, February 27, 1853, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 213, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 473, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''One of the last of the philosophers,—Connecticut gave him to the world,—he peddled first her wares, afterwards, as he declares, his brains. These he peddles still, prompting God and disgracing man, bearing for fruit his brain only, like the nut its kernel.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, pp. 295-296, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''In the student sensuality is a sluggish habit of mind.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 244, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Most of the stone a nation hammers goes toward its tomb only. It buries itself alive.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 64, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Not a flock of wild geese cackles over our town, but it to some extent unsettles the value of real estate here, and, if I were a broker, I should probably take that disturbance into account.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 219, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Part of a passage in which Thoreau compares the westward migration of settlers in his day to the westward migration of birds.

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Best Poem of Henry David Thoreau

Friendship

I think awhile of Love, and while I think,
Love is to me a world,
Sole meat and sweetest drink,
And close connecting link
Tween heaven and earth.

I only know it is, not how or why,
My greatest happiness;
However hard I try,
Not if I were to die,
Can I explain.

I fain would ask my friend how it can be,
But when the time arrives,
Then Love is more lovely
Than anything to me,
And so I'm dumb.

For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak,
But only thinks and does;
Though surely out 'twill leak
Without the help of...

Read the full of Friendship

I Am The Autumnal Sun

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
-- not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;

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