Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Great genial power, one would almost say, consists in not being original at all; in being altogether receptive; in letting the world do all, and suffering the spirit of the hour to pass unobstructed through the mind.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Shakspeare; or, the Poet," Representative Men (1850).
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  • ''The possibility of interpretation lies in the identity of the observer with the observed. Each material thing has its celestial side; has its translation, through humanity, into the spiritual and necessary sphere, where it plays a part as indestructible as any other.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Uses of Great Men," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''Art and power will go on as they have done,—will make day out of night, time out of space, and space out of time.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Works and Days," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''The genius of the Saxon race, friendly to liberty; the enterprise, the very muscular vigor of this nation, are inconsistent with slavery.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Address Delivered in Concord on the Anniversary of the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies, August 1, 1884," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
  • '''Tis very certain that each man carries in his eye the exact indication of his rank in the immense scale of men, and we are always learning to read it. A complete man should need no auxiliaries to his personal presence.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Behavior," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''In America, the geography is sublime, but the men are not: the inventions are excellent, but the inventors one is sometimes ashamed of.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''To fill the hour,—that is happiness; to fill the hour, and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval. We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''If in the least particular one could derange the order of nature,—who would accept the gift of life?''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''The whole value of history, of biography, is to increase my self-trust, by demonstrating what man can be and do.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, July 24, 1838, at Dartmouth College. "Literary Ethics," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''A dilettantism in nature is barren and unworthy. A fop of fields is no better than his brother on Broadway.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nature," Essays, Second Series (1844).

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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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