A book should contain pure discoveries, glimpses of terra firma, though by shipwrecked mariners, and not the art of navigation by those who have never been out of sight of land.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
A thrumming of piano-strings beyond the gardens and through the elms. At length the melody steals into my being. I know not when it began to occupy me. By some fortunate coincidence of thought or circumstance I am attuned to the universe, I am fitted to hear, my being moves in a sphere of melody, my fancy and imagination are excited to an inconceivable degree. This is no longer the dull earth on which I stood.—Journal, 3 August 1852
An island always pleases my imagination, even the smallest, as a small continent and integral portion of the globe. —A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.—The Maine Woods
I find that actual events, notwithstanding the singular prominence which we all allow them, are far less real than the creations of my imagination.—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 9 August 1850
I never read a novel, they have so little real life and thought in them.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
I rise into a diviner atmosphere, in which simply to exist and breathe is a triumph, and my thoughts inevitably tend toward the grand and infinite, as aeronauts report that there is ever an upper current hereabouts which sets toward the ocean. If they rise high enough they go out to sea, and behold the vessels seemingly in mid-air like themselves. It is as if I were serenaded, and the highest and truest compliments were paid me. The universe gives me three cheers.—Journal, 13 July 1857
If there is not something mystical in your explanation—something unexplainable—some elements of mystery, it is quite insufficient. If there is nothing in it which speaks to my imagination, what boots it? What sort of science is that which enriches thee understanding but robs the imagination?—Journal,  25 December 1851
It is the imagination of poets which puts those brave speeches into the mouths of their heroes.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
My imagination, my love and reverence and admiration, my sense of miraculous, is not so excited by any event as by the remembrance of my youth.—Journal, June 1850
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