Emerson – Ralph Waldo

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American Poet, Essayist, Philosopher and Lecturer Emerson2

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

Born: 25 May 1803, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: 27 April 1882, Concord, Massachusetts, USA


Emerson’s philosophy was heavily influenced by his fascination with the Orient which is reflected in his journals. He entered Harvard at the age of 14 where he was exposed to a curriculum focused on Greek and Roman writers in addition to Euclidean geometry and British philosophers! He is probably better known for his quotations than for his poetry.


“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
“The earth laughs in flowers.”
“Men are what their mothers made them.”
“The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.”

Selected Bibliography (*Best known)
Emerson produced about 120 poems


*The Rhodora: In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods
*The Apology: Think of me not unkind and rude, That I walk alone in grove and glen;
Fable: The mountain and the squirrel had a quarrel;
Song of Nature: Mine are the night and morning the pits of air, the gulf of space,
Good-bye: Good-Bye proud world! I’m going home; Thou art my friend and I’m not thine.




The American Scholar