Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

The work of vegetation begins first in the irritability of the bark and leaf-buds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Love," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847). This is reminiscent of the definition of life as the ability to be irritated.
Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them. Some minds are incapable of skepticism.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Montaigne; or, the Skeptic," Representative Men (1850).
We know more from nature than we can at will communicate.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 4 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
By it, is the universe made safe and habitable, not by science or power.
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).
We know truth when we see it, from opinion, as we know when we are awake that we are awake.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
We call the beautiful the highest, because it appears to us the golden mean, escaping the dowdiness of the good and the heartlessness of the true.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).
We estimate the wisdom of nations by seeing what they did with their surplus capital.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," English Traits (1856).
When I have seen fine statues, and afterwards enter a public assembly, I understand well what he meant who said, "When I have been reading Homer, all men look like giants."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Art," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
Only poetry inspires poetry.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Books," Society and Solitude (1870).
The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Domestic Life," Society and Solitude (1870).