Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''In the morning I awake, and find the old world, wife, babes, and mother, Concord and Boston, the dear old spiritual world, and even the dear old devil not far off. If we shall take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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  • ''But let us honestly state the facts. Our America has a bad name for superficialness. Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigor; but they grope ever upwards towards consciousness; the trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nature," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''Every man finds a sanction for his simplest claims and deeds, in decisions of his own mind, which he calls Truth and Holiness.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''I suppose an entire cabinet of shells would be an expression of the whole human mind; a Flora of the whole globe would be so likewise, or a history of beasts; or a painting of all the aspects of the clouds. Everything is significant.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Quoted in Robert D. Richardson, Jr., Emerson: The Mind on Fire, ch. 20 (1995).
  • ''Why need I volumes, if one word suffice?''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Day's Ration," Poems (1847). The ideal of silence and/or the singular, precise word haunts much of Emerson's volumes of writing. One could argue that he was never able to answer this most central of Emersonian questions.
  • ''Yet time and space are but inverse measures of the force of the soul. The spirit sports with time.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''In daily life what distinguishes the master is the using those materials he has, instead of looking about for what are more renowned, or what others have used well.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Works and Days," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''The reason why men do not obey us, is because they see the mud at the bottom of our eye.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Behavior," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''The mass are animal, in pupilage, and near chimpanzee.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).

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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

Nemesis

Already blushes in thy cheek
The bosom-thought which thou must speak;
The bird, how far it haply roam
By cloud or isle, is flying home;
The maiden fears, and fearing runs
Into the charmed snare she shuns;
And every man, in love or pride,
Of his fate is never wide.

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