Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

  • ''No two people see the world exactly alike, and different temperaments will often apply the same principle, recognized by both, differently. Even one and the same person won't always maintain the same views and judgments: earlier convictions must give way to later ones.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Propylaea, introduction (1798).
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  • ''What you desire when young, you have in abundance when old.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Autobiography. Poetry and Truth, motto of the second part (1814).
  • ''That is the way of youth and life in general: that we do not understand the strategy until after the campaign is over.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Autobiography. Poetry and Truth, part IV, bk. 20 (posthumous).
  • ''The true, prescriptive artist strives after artistic truth; the lawless artist, who follows blind instinct, strives to duplicate the reality of nature. The first one elevates art to its highest peak; the second one lowers it to its basest level.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Propylaea, introduction (1798).
  • ''Our wishes are presentiments of the abilities that lie in us, harbingers of what we will be able to accomplish.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Autobiography. Poetry and Truth. part II, bk. 9 (1814).
  • ''If you are convinced of a matter, you must take sides or you don't deserve to succeed.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Propylaea, introduction (1798).
  • ''The true, prescriptive artist strives after artistic truth; the lawless artist, following blind instinct, after an appearance of naturalness. The one leads to the highest peaks of art, the other to its lowest depths.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Propyläen, introduction (1798). A periodical founded by Goethe, taking its title from the gateway to the Acropolis of Athens.
  • ''One can't dull a project better than by discussing it repeatedly.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Charlotte, in Elective Affinities, bk. I, ch. 2 (1809).
  • ''He who has a task to perform must know how to take sides, or he is quite unworthy of it.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Propyläen, introduction (1798). This periodical, founded by Goethe, took its title from the gateway to the Acropolis of Athens.
  • ''One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is when we see its separate forms jumbled together.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Propyläen, introduction (1798). A periodical founded by Goethe which took its title from the gateway to the Acropolis of Athens.

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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 ...

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MY mistress, where sits she?

What is it that charms?
The absent she's rocking,

Held fast in her arms.

In pretty cage prison'd

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