Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''But to most of us society shows not its face and eye, but its side and back. To stand in true relations with men in a false age is worth a fit of insanity, is it not?''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Friendship," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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  • ''Time dissipates to shining ether the solid angularity of facts.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841).
  • ''Everything that is popular, it has been said, deserves the attention of philosophers: and this is for the obvious reason, that although it may not be of any worth in itself, yet it characterizes the people.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, December 2, 1841, at the Masonic Temple, Boston, Massachusetts. "Introductory Lecture on the Times," Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849).
  • ''Therefore is nature ever the ally of Religion: lends her all her pomp and riches to the religious sentiment.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 5 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • ''Art expresses the one, or the same by the different. Thought seeks to know unity in unity; poetry to show it by variety; that is, always by an object or symbol.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Plato; or, the Philosopher," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word as good. What he quotes, he fills with his own voice and humour, and the whole cyclopedia of his table-talk is presently believed to be his own.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Quotation and Originality," Letters and Social Aims (1875, repr. 1904).
  • ''The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. The Conduct of Life, "Worship," (1870).
  • ''Again, the great number of cultivated men keep each other up to a high standard. The habit of meeting well-read and knowing men teaches the art of omission and selection.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Universities," English Traits (1856).
  • ''The civility of no race can be perfect whilst another race is degraded.''
    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, 1844," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
  • ''Proverbs, like the sacred books of each nation, are the sanctuary of the intuitions. That which the droning world, chained to appearances, will not allow the realist to say in his own words, it will suffer him to say in proverbs without contradiction.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Compensation," 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

Nemesis

Already blushes in thy cheek
The bosom-thought which thou must speak;
The bird, how far it haply roam
By cloud or isle, is flying home;
The maiden fears, and fearing runs
Into the charmed snare she shuns;
And every man, in love or pride,
Of his fate is never wide.

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