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

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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