Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Explore, and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatize, or accept another's dogmatism.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, July 24, 1838, at Dartmouth College. "Literary Ethics," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
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  • ''Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. To a man laboring under calamity, the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 1 (1836, revised and repr. 1849). By this Emerson means that as our moods change so too do our perceptions of the hues and shapes of nature. We are connected to the landscape and as we turn so does it.
  • ''The spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless; it is not loving; it has no ulterior and divine ends; but is destructive only out of hatred and selfishness.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue; and no genius can long or often utter anything which is not invited and gladly entertained by men around him.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Race," English Traits (1856).
  • ''It is the essence of poetry to spring, like the rainbow daughter of Wonder, from the invisible, to abolish the past, and refuse all history.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Shakspeare; or, the Poet," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''We are adapted to infinity. We are hard to please, and love nothing which ends: and in nature is no end; but every thing, at the end of one use, is lifted into a superior, and the ascent of these things climbs into daemonic and celestial natures.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Swedenborg; or, the Mystic," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''The soul answers never by words, but by the thing itself that is inquired after.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''The search after the great men is the dream of youth, and the most serious occupation of manhood.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Uses of Great Men," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''The virtues of society are vices of the saint. The terror of reform is the discovery that we must cast away our virtues, or what we have always esteemed such, into the same pit that has consumed our grosser vices.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Circles," Essays, First Series (1841).
  • ''Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.''
    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

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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