Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Compensation," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847). This is so, according to Emerson, because we will then be able to recognize our true talents and be able to understand the successes and failures of other people.
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  • ''What forests of laurel we bring, and the tears of mankind, to those who stood firm against the opinion of their contemporaries!''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Talk of Columbus and Newton! I tell you the child just born in yonder hovel is the beginning of a revolution as great as theirs. But you must have the believing and prophetic eye.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Education," Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883, repr. 1904).
  • ''The history of literature—take the net result of Tiraboshi, Warton, or Schlegel,—is a sum of a very few ideas, and of very few original tales,—all the rest being variation of these.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''Great conversation ... requires an absolute running of two souls into one.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Friendship," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''The first questions are always to be asked, and the wisest doctor is gravelled by the inquisitiveness of a child.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Intellect," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''Of the Shaker society, it was formerly a sort of proverb in the country, that they always sent the devil to market.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Power," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''The secret of fortune is joy in our hands.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''The less a man thinks or knows about his virtues, the better we like him.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Spiritual Laws," Essays, First Series (1841).
  • ''There is some awe mixed with joy of our surprise, when this poet, who lived in some past world, two or three hundred years ago, says that which lies close to my own soul, that which I also had well nigh thought and said.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Oration, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983).

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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

Eros

The sense of the world is short, -
Long and various the report, -
To love and be beloved;
Men and gods have not outlearned it;
And, how oft soe'er they've turned it,
'Tis not to be improved.

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