Henry David Thoreau

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

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

  • ''We have heard much about the poetry of mathematics, but very little of it has yet been sung. The ancients had a juster notion of their poetic value than we.''
    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. 386, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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  • ''The language of excitement is at best picturesque merely. You must be calm before you can utter oracles.''
    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. 132, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''There must be some nerve and heroism in our love, as of a winter morning.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Essay on "Chastity and Sensuality" in letter, September 1852, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 207, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Be not anxious to avoid poverty. In this way the wealth of the universe may be securely invested.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Letter, August 10, 1849, to Harrison Blake, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 173, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember!''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Life Without Principle" (1863), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 474-475, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''When a noble deed is done, who is likely to appreciate it? They who are noble themselves.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Last Days of John Brown" (1860), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 444, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''Translate a book a dozen times from one language to another, and what becomes of its style? Most books would be worn out and disappear in this ordeal. The pen which wrote it is soon destroyed, but the poem survives.''
    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. 330, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''If you are a seer, whenever you meet a man you will see all that he owns, ay, and much that he pretends to disown, behind him.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 73, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''I now first began to inhabit my house, I may say, when I began to use it for warmth as well as shelter.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 268, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
  • ''It would seem as if the very language of our parlors would lose all its nerve and degenerate into palaver wholly, our lives pass at such remoteness from its symbols, and its metaphors and tropes are necessarily so far fetched.''
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 270, 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

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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