Thoreau Thursday: Small Quotes

thoreaus_journalFlu season has come again to the North Country and I was laid up most of a week. Writing was impossible… reading nearly so. I took the time to catch up on a few favorite blogs and to watch a couple of old westerns based on novels: Hondo and Hombre. It would be a fair summation to say that both The Duke and Paul Newman have much better movies to their credit.

MontanaWriter has been on a hold pattern of late. I read, I think, I wait.

I read Shelley and Berry and Richard Hugo and Dennis O’Driscoll… and Thoreau.

Here are a few small quotes.



Some Small Quotes from Thoreau


The best poetry has never been written, for when it might have been, the poet forgot it, and when it was too late remembered it; or when it might have been, the poet remembered it, and when it was too late forgot it.

“What are you doing now?” he asked. “Do you keep a journal?” So I make my first entry to-day.


Every part of nature teaches that the passing away of one life is the making room for another.


We should not endeavor coolly to analyze our thoughts, but, keeping the pen even and parallel with the current, make an accurate transcript of them. Impulse is, after all, the best linguist,


Virtue and Truth go undefended, and Falsehood and Affectation are thrown in my teeth,


The poem is drawn out from under the feet of the poet, his whole weight has rested on this ground.

I am the wiser in respect to all knowledges, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook.

A very meagre natural history suffices to make me a child.


The most positive life that history notices has been a constant retiring out of life, a wiping one’s hands of it, seeing how mean it is, and having nothing to do with it.

What a man knows, that he does.

Say, Not so, and you will outcircle the philosophers.

We are constantly invited to be what we are; as to something worthy and noble.


Let the daily tide leave some deposit on these pages, as it leaves sand and shells on the shore. So much increase of terra firma. This may be a calendar of the ebbs and flows of the soul; and on these sheets as a beach, the waves may cast up pearls and seaweed.

Men see God in the ripple but not in miles of still water.


I should wither and dry up if it were not for lakes and rivers. I am conscious that my body derives its genesis from their waters

Water seems a middle element between earth and air. The most fluid in which man can float. Across the surface of every lake there sweeps a hushed music.

I stopped short in the path today to admire how the trees grow up without forethought regardless of the time and circumstances. They do not wait as men do— now is the golden age of the sapling— Earth, air, sun, and rain, are occasion enough—.

Though I should front an object for a lifetime I should only see what it concerned me to see.


A wave of happiness flows over us like sunshine over a field.


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