Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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Every day brings a ship, Every ship brings a word; Well for those who have no fear, Looking seaward well assured That the word the vessel brings Is the word they wish to hear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Letters," May-Day and Other Pieces (1867).
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Spring is strong and virtuous, Broad-sowing, cheerful, plenteous, Quickening underneath the mould Grains beyond the price of gold. So deep and large her bounties are, That one broad, long midsummer day Shall to the planet overpay The ravage of a year of war.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "May-Day," May-Day and Other Pieces (1867).
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Man is the dwarf of himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 8 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
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It is so wonderful to our neurologists that a man can see without his eyes, that it does not occur to them that is just as wonderful that he should see with them; and that is ever the difference between the wise and the unwise: the latter wonders at what is unusual, the wise man wonders at the usual.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Lecture, March 3, 1884, in Amory Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. "New England Reformers," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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Whilst the rights of all as persons are equal, in virtue of their access to reason, their rights in property are very unequal. One man owns his clothes, and another owns a country.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Politics," Essays, Second Series (1844).
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We are imprisoned in life in the company of persons powerfully unlike us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Journal entry, January, 1845. Quoted in Robert D. Richardson, Jr., Emerson: The Mind on Fire, ch. 31 (1995).
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It is easy to see that what is best written or done by genius in the world, was no man's work but came by wide social labor, when a thousand wrought like one, sharing the same impulse.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Shakspeare; or, the Poet," Representative Men (1850).
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'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; a good head cannot read amiss: in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Success," Society and Solitude (1870).
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But speak the truth, and all nature and all spirits help you with unexpected furtherance. Speak the truth, and all things alive or brute are vouchers, and the very roots of the grass underground there do seem to stir and move to bear you witness.
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).
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