Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''We must not inquire too curiously into the absolute value of literature. Enough that it amuses and exercises us. At least it leaves us where we were. It names things, but does not add things.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Books," Society and Solitude (1870). Quoted by Edward Emerson in a footnote from Emerson's notebook entitled "Literature" under the heading "Skeptical."
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  • ''Tobacco and opium have broad backs, and will cheerfully carry the load of armies, if you choose to make them pay high for such joy as they give and such harm as they do.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Civilization," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''The uses of travel are occasional, and short; but the best fruit it finds, when it finds it, is conversation; and this is a main function of life.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''There is no event greater in life than the appearance of new persons about our hearth, except it be the progress of the character which draws them.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Domestic Life," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''The world is all outside: it has no inside.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''How shall a man escape from his ancestors, or draw off from his veins the black drop which he drew from his father's or mother's life?''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Illusions," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Romeo, of dead, should be cut up into little stars to make the heavens fine. Life, with this pair, has no other aim, asks no more, than Juliet,—than Romeo.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Love," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful. And the stimulus it affords to the sense, and a sort of infinitude which it hath, like space and time, make all matter gay. Even the corpse has its own beauty.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 3 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • ''Art, in the artist, is proportion, or, a habitual respect to the whole by an eye loving beauty in details. And the wonder and charm of it is the sanity in insanity which it denotes.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nominalist and Realist," 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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