Life & Death Quotations


Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine-trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.—The Maine Woods
Every part of nature teaches that the passing away of one life is the making room for another.—Journal, 24 October 1837
He is the true artist whose life is his material—every stroke of the chisel must enter his own flesh and bone, and not grate dully on marble.—Journal, 23 June 1840
I am not afraid that I will exaggerate the value and significance of life, but that I shall not be up to the occasion which it is. I shall be sorry to remember that I was there, but noticed nothing remarkable—not so much as a prince in disguise; lived in the golden age as a hired man; visited Olympus even, but fell asleep after dinner, and did not hear the conversation of the gods.—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 3 April 1850
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. —Walden
I don't want to feel as if my life were a sojourn any longer. That philosophy cannot be true which so paints it. It is time now that I begin to live.—Journal, 25 December 1841
I hate the present modes of living and getting a living.—Journal, 1 November 1855
I have heard of some who were 15 years a dying—a shiftless business for which neither gods nor mortals have any sympathy to spare.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
I live in the perpetual verdure of the globe. I die in the annual decay of nature.—Journal, 8 March 1842
I love to see a clear crystalline water flowing out of a swamp over white sand and decayed wood, spring-like.—Journal, 18 July 1852
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