Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

  • ''Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Leonore, in Torquato Tasso, act. 1, sc. 2 (1790).
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  • ''The greatest step forward would be to see that everything factual is already theory. The blueness of the sky reveals the basic law of chromatics. Don't look for anything behind the phenomena, they themselves are the doctrine.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter, August 24, 1797, to Franz Kirms.
  • ''Several classical sayings that one likes to repeat had quite a different meaning from the ones later times attributed to them.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, from Makarie's Archive (1829).
  • ''Neither a work of nature nor one of art we get to know when they have been finished; we must surprise them in the process of being created so as to understand them to some degree.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter, August 4, 1803, to Karl Friedrich Zelter.
  • ''The dignity of art probably appears most eminently with music since it does not have any material that needs to be discounted. Music is all form and content and elevates and ennobles everything that it expresses.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''Idea and experience will never coincide in the center; only through art and action are they united.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter, January 28, 1816, to Arthur Schopenhauer.
  • ''How can one learn to know oneself? Never by introspection, rather by action. Try to do your duty, and you will know right away what you are like.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''Piety is not a goal but a means to attain through the purest peace of mind the highest culture.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
  • ''We who didn't inherit political power nor are made to acquire riches like nothing better than that which expands and solidifies the power of the spirit.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter, June 17, 1784, to Charlotte von Stein.

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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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