Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

  • ''Fortunately, we can take in only so much misfortune; what exceeds that limit either destroys us or leaves us indifferent.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Elective Affinities, bk. II, ch. 4 (1809).
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  • ''If one doesn't know one's own country, one doesn't have standards for foreign countries.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. the Abbé, in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, bk. VIII, ch. 7 (1795-1796).
  • ''All one needs to do is declare oneself free and one will immediately feel dependent. If you dare to declare yourself dependent, you feel independent.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Elective Affinities, bk. II, ch. 5, from Ottilie's Diary (1809).
  • ''Reason looks at necessity as the basis of the world; reason is able to turn chance in your favor and use it. Only by having reason remain strong and unshakable can we be called a god of the earth.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. the Abbé, in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, bk. I, ch. 17 (1795-1796).
  • ''Every need whose true satisfaction is denied leads by necessity to faith.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Elective Affinities, bk. II, ch. 18 (1809).
  • ''The arts are the salt of the earth; as salt relates to food, the arts relate to technology.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. the Abbé in Wilhelm Meister's Travels, bk. II, ch. 7 (1829).
  • ''We don't get to know people when they come to us; we have to go to them so as to learn what they are like.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Elective Affinities, bk. II, ch. 5, from Ottilie's Diary (1809).
  • ''If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that?''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Elective Affinities, bk. 2, ch. 4, from Ottilie's Diary (1809).
  • ''Aptitudes are assumed, they should become accomplishments. That is the purpose of all education.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. the assistant teacher in Elective Affinities, bk. 1, ch. 5 (1809).
  • ''Everything perfect in its kind has to transcend its own kind, it must become something different and incomparable. In some notes the nightingale is still a bird; then it rises above its class and seems to suggest to every winged creature what singing is truly like.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. tr. 1988; Persea Books (1989). Elective Affinities, bk. 2, ch. 9, from Ottilie's Diary (1809).

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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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