Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Demonology," Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1883, repr. 1904).
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  • ''The secret of the illusoriness is in the necessity of a succession of moods or objects. Gladly we would anchor, but the anchorage is quicksand.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The astonishment of life, is, the absence of any appearance of reconciliation between the theory and the practice of life.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Montaigne; or, the Skeptic," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''Every known fact in natural science was divined by the presentiment of somebody, before it was actually verified.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nature," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The modernness of all good books seems to give men an existence as wide as man.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nominalist and Realist," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''All forms of government symbolize an immortal government, common to all dynasties and independent of numbers, perfect where two men exist, perfect where there is only one man.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''Every hero becomes a bore at last.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Representative Men, "Uses of Great Men," (1850).
  • ''We boil at different degrees.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Society and Solitude, "Eloquence," (1870).
  • ''There is a certain wisdom of humanity which is common to the greatest men with the lowest, and which our ordinary education often labors to silence and obstruct.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''Every materialist will be an idealist; but an idealist can never go backward to be a materialist.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).

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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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