Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''As long as our people quote English standards they dwarf their own proportions.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Power," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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  • ''My book should smell of pines and resound with the hum of insects.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''When a man speaks the truth in the spirit of truth, his eye is as clear as the heavens. When he has base ends, and speaks falsely, the eye is muddy and sometimes asquint.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Spiritual Laws," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''Men in history, men in the world of to-day are bugs, are spawn, and are called "the mass" and "the herd."''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983). Nietzsche was greatly influenced by Emerson's writings and we can hear a definite Nietszchean ring in this sentence.
  • ''A garden has this advantage, that it makes it indifferent where you live. A well-laid garden makes the face of the country of no account; let that be low or high, grand or mean, you have made a beautiful abode worthy of man.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, February 7, 1844, the Mercantile Library Association, Boston, Massachusetts. "The Young American," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''Every spirit makes its house, and we can give a shrewd guess from the house to the inhabitant.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Beauty," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''How death-cold is literary genius before this fire of life!''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Character," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The history of persecution is a history of endeavors to cheat nature, to make water run up hill, to twist a rope of sand.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Compensation," Essays, First Series (1841).
  • ''The saint and poet seek privacy to ends the most public and universal: and it is the secret of culture, to interest the man more in his public, than in his private quality.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''There is no calamity which right words will not begin to redress.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Eloquence," Society and Solitude (1870).

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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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