Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''We are often made to feel that there is another youth and age than that which is measured from the year of our natural birth. Some thoughts always find us young, and keep us so. Such a thought is the love of the universal and eternal beauty.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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  • ''The university must be retrospective. The gale that gives direction to the vanes on all its towers blows out of antiquity.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Universities," English Traits (1856).
  • ''Moons are no more bounds to spiritual power than bat-balls.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Circles," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847). Emerson is speaking here about the illusion of permanence and connecting the idea of flux to the non-empirical realm of spirituality. The notion is that spiritual power blooms in the context of change and mutability. If all were permanently stable, Emerson argues, the sacred would not be able to appear in nature. Moons in the solar system and earthly balls dancing off the end of a bat represent the spectrum of possibility in the universe.
  • ''It is said, no man can write but one book; and if a man have a defect, it is apt to leave its impression on all his performances.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Art," First Series (1841).
  • ''The day of days, the great day of the feast of life, is that in which the inward eye opens to the Unity in things, to the omnipresence of law;Msees that what is must be and ought to be, or is the best.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''We do not want actions, but men; not a chemical drop of water, but rain; the spirit that sheds and showers actions, countless, endless actions.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, December 2, 1841, at the Masonic Temple, Boston, Massachusetts. "Introductory Lecture on the Times," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants and to serve them one's self, so as to have somewhat left to give, instead of being always prompt to grab?''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 25, 1841, before the Mechanics' Apprentices' Library Association, Boston, Massachusetts. "Man the Reformer," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''In like manner, what good heed, nature forms in us! She pardons no mistakes. Her yea is yea, and her nay, nay.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 5 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).

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Best Poem of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fate

Deep in the man sits fast his fate
To mould his fortunes, mean or great:
Unknown to Cromwell as to me
Was Cromwell's measure or degree;
Unknown to him as to his horse,
If he than his groom be better or worse.
He works, plots, fights, in rude affairs,
With squires, lords, kings, his craft compares,
Till late he learned, through doubt and fear,
Broad England harbored not his peer:
Obeying time, the last to own
The Genius from its cloudy throne.
For the prevision is allied
Unto the thing so signified;
Or say, the foresight that awaits
Is...

Read the full of Fate

Alphonso Of Castile

I Alphonso live and learn,
Seeing nature go astern.
Things deteriorate in kind,
Lemons run to leaves and rind,
Meagre crop of figs and limes,
Shorter days and harder times.
Flowering April cools and dies
In the insufficient skies;
Imps at high Midsummer blot

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