Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''All loss, all pain, is particular; the universe remains to the heart unhurt.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Spiritual Laws," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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  • ''Give me insight into today and you may have the antique and future worlds.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Lecture, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Harvard University. "The American Scholar," Nature, Addresses and Lectures (1849).
  • ''The people fancy they hate poetry, and they are all poets and mystics.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Poet," Essays: Second Series (1844). Emerson refers to the fact that our everyday life is filled with symbols, emblems, and rituals. The tone here is reminiscent of Hegel's essay, "Who Thinks Abstractly?" Where he argues that it is the "uneducated" who think the most abstractly, for they do not take the time to fill out the details of their experience, but just see things in terms of bald labels.
  • ''How much more the seeker of abstract truth, who needs periods of isolation, and rapt concentration, and almost a going out of the body to think!''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Our reliance on the physician is a kind of despair of ourselves.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Beauty," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Character wants room; must not be crowded on by persons, nor be judged from glimpses got in the press of affairs, or on few occasions. It needs perspective, as a great building.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Character," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The right eloquence needs no bell to call the people together, and no constable to keep them.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Eloquence," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''The years teach much which the days never know.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''I pray my companion, if he wishes for bread, to ask me for bread, and if he wishes for sassafras or arsenic, to ask me for them, and not to hold out his plate, as if I knew already.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Manners," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''What new thoughts are suggested by seeing a face of country quite familiar, in the rapid movement of the rail-road car!''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 6 (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

My Garden

If I could put my woods in song
And tell what's there enjoyed,
All men would to my gardens throng,
And leave the cities void.

In my plot no tulips blow,--
Snow-loving pines and oaks instead;
And rank the savage maples grow
From Spring's faint flush to Autumn red.

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