Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''Do not read the newspapers.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, August 9, 1850, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 186, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''It is after we get home that we really go over the mountain, if ever.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, November 16, 1857, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 321, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''How many things are now at loose ends! Who knows which way the wind will blow tomorrow?''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Paradise (To Be) Regained" (1843), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 283, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There are not so many fishes in these rivers as in the Concord.''
    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. 299, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden, "Solitude," (1854). Yet, in his journal, Thoreau noted, "It would give me such joy to know that a friend had come to see me, and yet that pleasure I seldom if ever experience." (Dec. 23, 1851).
  • ''It looks like solidified azure, as, far off, it is drawn through the streets.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 324, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Genius is not a retainer to any emperor.''
    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).
  • ''Having each some shingles of thought well dried, we sat and whittled them.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Winter Visitors," Walden (1854).
  • ''All these sounds, the crowing of cocks, the baying of dogs, and the hum of insects at noon, are the evidence of nature's health or sound state.''
    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. 40, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''The sort of morality which the priests inculcate is a very subtle policy, far finer than the politicians', and the world is very successfully ruled by them as the policemen.''
    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. 75, 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

The Summer Rain

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.

Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too,
Our Shakespeare's life were rich to live again,
What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true,
Nor Shakespeare's books, unless his books were men.

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