Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

  • ''The eternal feminine draws us up.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Chorus Mysticus in Faust II, Act 5, Mountain Gorges (1832).
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  • ''National literature does not mean much these days; now is the age of world literature, and every one must contribute to hasten the arrival of that age.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Conversations with Eckermann (January 1, 1827).
  • ''It is after all the greatest art to limit and isolate oneself.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Conversations with Eckermann (April 20, 1825).
  • ''There is nothing outside of us that is not at the same time in us, and as the external world has its colors the eye, too, has colors.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Conversations with Eckermann (February 1, 1827).
  • ''One must be something to be able to do something.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. quoted in Conversations with Goethe, entry, Oct. 20, 1828, Johann Peter Eckermann (1836).
  • ''One cannot develop taste from what is of average quality but only from the very best.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Conversations with Eckermann (February 26, 1824).
  • ''Man ... knows only when he is satisfied and when he suffers, and only his sufferings and his satisfactions instruct him concerning himself, teach him what to seek and what to avoid. For the rest, man is a confused creature; he knows not whence he comes or whither he goes, he knows little of the world, and above all, he knows little of himself.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Quoted in John Peter Eckermann, Conversations with Goethe (1836).
  • ''To be sure, we have inherited abilities, but our development we owe to thousands of influences coming from the world around us from which we appropriate what we can and what is suitable to us.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Conversations with Eckermann (December 16, 1828).
  • ''The light is there, and colors surround us. However, if there were no light nor colors in our own eye, we wouldn't perceive such things outside of us.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Conversations with Eckermann (February 26, 1824).
  • ''When translating one must proceed up to the intranslatable; only then one becomes aware of the foreign nation and the foreign tongue.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Sayings in Prose (posthumous).

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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

Living Remembrance

HALF vex'd, half pleased, thy love will feel,
Shouldst thou her knot or ribbon steal;
To thee they're much--I won't conceal;

Such self-deceit may pardon'd be;
A veil, a kerchief, garter, rings,
In truth are no mean trifling things,

But still they're not enough for me.

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