Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832 / Frankfurt am Main)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

  • ''Thinking is more interesting than knowledge but not than looking.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, from Makarie's Archive (1829).
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  • ''If you are to accomplish all that one demands of you, you must overestimate your own worth.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, III, 1 (1821).
  • ''If the artist is not also a craftsman, the artist is nothing, but calamity: most of our artists are nothing but craftsmen.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter, September 21, 1771, to Johann Gottfried Röderer.
  • ''The thinking person has the strange characteristic to like to create a fantasy in the place of the unsolved problem, a fantasy that stays with the person even when the problem has been solved and truth made its appearance.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''We gladly put antiquity above our age but not posterity. Only a father doesn't begrudge his son's talent.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 3 (1826).
  • ''A leaf that is supposed to grow is full of wrinkles and creases before it develops; if one doesn't have the patience and wants the leaf to be as smooth as a willow leaf from the start, then there is a problem.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter to Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (September 9, 1788).
  • ''Normally, the sciences distance themselves from life and the return to it via a detour.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, from Makarie's Archive (1829).
  • ''One needs only to get old to become milder; I don't see anyone make a mistake I hadn't also made.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 1 (1824).
  • ''It is a maxim of wise government to treat people not as they should be but as they actually are.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter to H. Stephani (June, 1792).
  • ''What right those who govern have to govern they don't question, they just govern. Whether the people have a right to depose them that doesn't concern them. All they are concerned with is that the people will not be tempted to depose them.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, from Makarie's Archive (1829).

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Best Poem of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Erl-King

1.
WHO rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.

"My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
"Look, father, the Erl-King is close by our side!
Dost see not the Erl-King, with crown and with train?"
"My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."

"Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
Full many a game I will play there with thee;
On my strand, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
My ...

Read the full of The Erl-King

Longing

WHAT pulls at my heart so?

What tells me to roam?
What drags me and lures me

From chamber and home?
How round the cliffs gather

The clouds high in air!

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