Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

Herman Melville Quotes

  • ''"what has cast such a shadow upon you" "The negro."''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Benito Cereno" (1855), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 9, eds. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1987). First Amasa Delano, then Benito Cereno.
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  • ''The shadows of things are greater than themselves; and the more exaggerated the shadow, the more unlike the substance.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 117, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanja, the philosopher.
  • ''Meditation and water are wedded for ever.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 1, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''Surrounded as we are by the wants and woes of our fellow-men, and yet given to follow our own pleasures, regardless of their pains, are we not like people sitting up with a corpse, and making merry in the house of the dead?''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 37, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Ah! the best righteousness of our man-of-war world seems but an unrealized ideal, after all; and those maxims which, in the hope of bringing about a Millennium, we busily teach to the heathen, we Christians ourselves disregard.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. White-Jacket (1850), ch. 76, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 5, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).
  • ''Backward and forward, eternity is the same; already we have been the nothing we dread to be.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 78, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanga, the philosopher.
  • ''All truth is profound.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 41, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''As well hate a seraph, as a shark.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 13, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970).
  • ''Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, the Watery, the Unshored.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Moby-Dick (1851), ch. 112, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 6, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1988).
  • ''You know nothing till you know all; which is the reason we never know any thing.''
    Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Redburn (1849), ch. 26, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 4, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1969).

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Best Poem of Herman Melville

Art

In placid hours well-pleased we dream
Of many a brave unbodied scheme.
But form to lend, pulsed life create,
What unlike things must meet and mate:
A flame to melt--a wind to freeze;
Sad patience--joyous energies;
Humility--yet pride and scorn;
Instinct and study; love and hate;
Audacity--reverence. These must mate,
And fuse with Jacob's mystic heart,
To wrestle with the angel--Art.

Read the full of Art

The Berg (A Dream)

I saw a ship of material build
(Her standards set, her brave apparel on)
Directed as by madness mere
Against a solid iceberg steer,
Nor budge it, though the infactuate ship went down.
The impact made huge ice-cubes fall
Sullen in tons that crashed the deck;
But that one avalanche was all--
No other movement save the foundering wreck.

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