Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''Some poems are for holidays only. They are polished and sweet, but it is the sweetness of sugar, and not such as toil gives to sour bread. The breath with which the poet utters his verse must be that by which he lives.''
    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. 365, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''Inexpressibly beautiful appears the recognition by man of the least natural fact, and the allying his life to it.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Yankee in Canada" (1853), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 20, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The man who does not betake himself at once and desperately to sawing is called a loafer, though he may be knocking at the doors of heaven all the while.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Journals, entry for Dec. 28, 1852 (1906).
  • ''This is the only panacea. I mean sincerity in our dealings with ourselves mainly; any other is comparatively easy.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, April 2, 1843, to Richard F. Fuller, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 67, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''What an admirable training is science for the more active warfare of life! Indeed, the unchallenged bravery which these studies imply, is far more impressive than the trumpeted valor of the warrior.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Natural History of Massachusetts" (1842), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 105, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Now I thought I would observe how he spent his Sunday. While I and my companion were looking about at the trees and river, he went to sleep. Indeed, he improved every opportunity to get a nap, whatever the day.''
    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. 223, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''His style is eminently colloquial, and no wonder it is strange to meet with in a book. It is not literary or classical; it has not the music of poetry, nor the pomp of philosophy, but the rhythms and cadences of conversation endlessly repeated.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Thomas Carlyle and His Works" (1847), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 323, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Nations are possessed with an insane ambition to perpetuate the memory of themselves by the amount of hammered stone they leave. What if equal pains were taken to smooth and polish their manners?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 63, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''From exertion come wisdom and purity; from sloth ignorance and sensuality.''
    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).
  • ''Let us not play at kittly-benders. There is a solid bottom everywhere.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 363, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

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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

Inspiration

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

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