Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''It is a fact often observed, that men have written good verses under the inspiration of passion, who cannot write well under other circumstances.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Love," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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  • ''I cannot often enough say, that a man is only a relative and representative nature. Each is a hint of the truth, but far enough from being that truth, which yet he quite newly and inevitably suggests to us. If I seek it in him, I shall not find it.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Nominalist and Realist," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The torpid artist seeks inspiration at any cost, by virtue or by vice, by friend or by fiend, by prayer or by wine.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Power," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''You will think me very pedantic, gentlemen, but holiday though it may be, I have not the smallest interest in any holiday, except as it celebrates real and not pretended joys.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Speech at Manchester," English Traits (1856).
  • ''And what greater calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship? Then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple to haunt the senate or the market.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Address, July 17, 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).
  • ''But the quality of the imagination is to flow, and not to freeze.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Poet," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''Genius has infused itself into nature. It indicates itself by a small excess of good, a small balance in brute facts always favorable to the side of reason.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, February 7, 1844, the Mercantile Library Association, Boston, Massachusetts. "The Young American," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''To be rich is to have a ticket of admission to the masterworks and chief men of each race. It is to have the sea, by voyaging; to visit the mountains, Niagara, the Nile, the desert, Rome, Paris, Constantinople: to see galleries, libraries, arsenals, manufactories.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Worship," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new and fairer whole.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Art," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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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

Terminus

It is time to be old,
To take in sail:--
The god of bounds,
Who sets to seas a shore,
Come to me in his fatal rounds,
And said: "No more!
No farther shoot
Thy broad ambitious branches, and thy root.
Fancy departs; no more invent;

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