Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Society always consists, in greatest part, of young and foolish persons. The old, who have seen through the hypocrisy of the courts and statesmen, die, and leave no wisdom to their sons. They believe their own newspaper, as their fathers did at their age.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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  • ''Never read any book that is not a year old.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Society and Solitude, "Books," (1870). One of Emerson's three "practical rules" for reading.
  • ''Whenever the pulpit is usurped by a formalist, then is the worshipper defrauded and disconsolate.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Address, July 15, 1838, delivered before the senior class in Divinity College, Cambridge. "The Divinity School Address," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).
  • ''Open the doors of opportunity to talent and virtue and they will do themselves justice, and property will not be in bad hands.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''The religion which is to guide and fulfill the present and coming ages, whatever else it be, must be intellectual. The scientific mind must have a faith which is science.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Worship," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''I now require this of all pictures, that they domesticate me, not that they dazzle me. Pictures must not be too picturesque. Nothing astonishes men so much as common-sense and plain dealing. All great actions have been simple, and all great pictures are.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Art," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''I do not hesitate to read ... all good books in translations. What is really best in any book is translatable—any real insight or broad human sentiment.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Books," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''There is a tendency in things to right themselves, and the war or revolution or bankruptcy that shatters rotten system, allows things to take a new and natural order.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''The child realizes to every man his own earliest remembrance, and so supplies a defect in our education, or enables us to live over the unconscious history with a sympathy so tender as to be almost personal experience.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Domestic Life," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''The street is full of humiliations to the proud.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).

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Best Poem of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Song Of Nature

Mine are the night and morning,
The pits of air, the gulf of space,
The sportive sun, the gibbous moon,
The innumerable days.

I hid in the solar glory,
I am dumb in the pealing song,
I rest on the pitch of the torrent,
In slumber I am strong.

No numbers have counted my tallies,
No tribes my house can fill,
I sit by the shining Fount of Life,
And pour the deluge still;

And ever by delicate powers
Gathering along the centuries
From race on race the rarest flowers,
My wreath shall nothing miss.

And many a thousand summers
My ...

Read the full of Song Of Nature

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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