Viewed freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all.
The city fireman-the fire that suddenly bursts forth in the close-pack’d square,
The arriving engines, the hoarse shouts, the nimble stepping and daring,
The strong command through the fire-trumpets, the falling in line,
the rise and fall of the arms forcing the water,
The slender, spasmic, blue-white jets-the bringing to bear of the hooks and ladders, and their execution,
The crash and cut away of connecting wood-work, or through floors, if the fire smoulders under them,
The crowd with their lit faces, watching-the glare and dense shadows;….
I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers.
What a devil art thou, Poverty! How many desires—how many aspirations after goodness and truth—how many noble thoughts, loving wishes toward our fellows, beautiful imaginings thou hast crushed under thy heel, without remorse or pause!
Topics: Poverty, The Poor
I see great things in baseball. It’s our game – the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us
The powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease… observing a spear of summer grass.
At times it has been doubtful to me if Emerson really knows or feels what Poetry is at its highest, as in the Bible, for instance, or Homer or Shakespeare. I see he covertly or plainly likes best superb verbal polish, or something old or odd
He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher.
I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open.
Seasons pursuing each other the indescribable crowd is gathered, it is the fourth of Seventh-month, (what salutes of cannon and small arms!)
I know nothing grander, better exercise, better digestion, more positive proof of the The Past triumphant result of faith in human kind, than a well-contested American national election.
Our leading men are not of much account and never have been, but the average of the people is immense, beyond all history. Sometimes I think in all departments, literature and art included, that will be the way our superiority will exhibit itself. We will not have great individuals or great leaders, but a great average bulk, unprecedentedly great.
Let that which stood in front go behind, let that which was behind advance to the front, let bigots, fools, unclean persons, offer new propositions, let the old propositions be postponed.
I say to mankind, Be not curious about God. For I, who am curious about each, am not curious about God – I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.
There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or streching eyeless years,
The early lilacs became part of the child,
And grass and white and red morning-glories and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird…
I am large; I contain multitudes.
I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.
Out of every fruition of success, no matter what, comes forth something to make a new effort necessary.
Topics: Success is not everything
Produce great men, the rest follows.
Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.
The city sleeps and the country sleeps, the living sleep for their time, the dead sleep for their time, the old husband sleeps by his wife and the young husband sleeps by his wife; and these tend inward to me, and I tend outward to them, and such as it is to be of these more or less I am, and of these one and all I weave the song of myself.
I am an acme of things accomplished, and I am encloser of things to be.
The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.
Topics: The Military
I heard what was said of the universe, heard it and heard it of several thousand years; it is middling well as far as it goes—but is that all?
When I heard the learn
Their manners, speech, dress, friendships,—the freshness and candor of their physiognomy—the picturesque looseness of their carriage—their deathless attachment to freedom—their aversion to anything indecorous or soft or mean—the practical acknowledgment of the citizens of one state by the citizens of all other states—the fierceness of their roused resentment—their curiosity and welcome of novelty—their self-esteem and wonderful sympathy—their susceptibility to a slight—the air they have of persons who never knew how it felt to stand in the presence of superiors—the fluency of their speech—their delight in music, a sure symptom of manly tenderness and native elegance of soul—their good temper and open-handedness—the terrible significance of their elections, the President’s taking off his hat to them, not they to him—these too are unrhymed poetry. It awaits the gigantic and generous treatment worthy of it.
Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Ralph Waldo Emerson American Philosopher
- Henry David Thoreau American Philosopher
- Edna St. Vincent Millay American Poet
- Gore Vidal American Novelist
- James Russell Lowell American Poet, Critic
- Christopher Morley American Novelist, Essayist
- Natalie Clifford Barney American Playwright
- John Jay Chapman American Biographer
- Herman Melville American Novelist
- Gertrude Stein American Writer