Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Shall we then judge a country by the majority, or by the minority? By the minority, surely.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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  • ''The finished man of the world must eat of every apple at once. He must hold his hatreds also at arm's length, and not remember spite. He has neither friends nor enemies, but values men only as channels of power.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''There are moods in which we court suffering, in the hope that here, at least, we shall find reality, sharp peaks and edges of truth. But it turns out to be scene-painting and counterfeit. The only thing grief has taught me, is to know how shallow it is.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''No picture of life can have any veracity that does not admit the odious facts. A man's power is hooped in by a necessity which, by many experiments, he touches on every side until he learns its arc.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''It is always so pleasant to be generous, though very vexatious to pay debts.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Gifts," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Journal entry, May 25, 1843. Journals (1909-1914).
  • ''Whenever a true theory appears, it will be its own evidence. Its test is, that it will explain all phenomena.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, Introduction (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • ''The highest end of government is the culture of men.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''If men would avoid that general language and general manner in which they strive to hide all that is peculiar and would say only what was uppermost in their own minds after their own individual manner, every man would be interesting.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Letter to Mary Moody Emerson. Quoted in Robert D. Richardson, Jr., Emerson: The Mind on Fire, ch. 13 (1995).
  • ''A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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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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