Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

  • ''The safest thing is always to try to convert everything that is in us and around us into action; let the others talk and argue about it as they please.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter to Zelter (October 30, 1828).
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  • ''Superstition belongs to the essence of mankind and takes refuge, when one thinks one has suppressed it completely, in the strangest nooks and crannies; once it is safely ensconced there, it suddenly reappears.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''One must not criticize that which is common since it remains always the same.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 3 (1826).
  • ''All poetry is supposed to be instructive but in an unnoticeable manner; it is supposed to make us aware of what it would be valuable to instruct ourselves in; we must deduce the lesson on our own, just as with life.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter to Zelter (November 26, 1825).
  • ''Microscopes and telescopes really confuse our minds.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''We really learn only from those books that we cannot judge. The author of a book that we were able to judge would have to learn from us.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 3 (1826).
  • ''A stated truth loses its grace, but a repeated error appears insipid and ridiculous.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Materials for the History of the Theory of Color, sect. 6, Newton's Personality (1810).
  • ''So as to comprehend that the sky is blue everywhere one doesn't need to travel around the world.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''Ingratitude is always a sign of weakness. I have never observed that accomplished people were ungrateful.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, IV, 2 (1823).
  • ''We must cling to the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible; otherwise we would not continue to search.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (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

To Belinda

WHEREFORE drag me to yon glittering eddy,

With resistless might?
Was I, then, not truly blest already

In the silent night?

In my secret chamber refuge taking,

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