Wildness Quotations

 

In Wildness is the preservation of the World.


“Walking”


Whatever has not come under the sway of man is wild. In this sense original and independent men are wild — not tamed and broken by society.


Journal, 3 September 1851


Trench says a wild man is a willed man. Well, then, a man of will who does what he wills or wishes, a man of hope and of the future tense, for not only the obstinate is willed, but far more the constant and persevering. The obstinate man, properly speaking, is one who will not. The perseverance of the saints is positive willedness, not a mere passive willingness. The fates are wild, for they will; and the Almighty is wild above all, as fate is.


Journal, 27 June 1853


I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute Freedom and Wildness, as contrasted with a Freedom and Culture merely civil, — to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.


“Walking”


I long for wildness, a nature which I cannot put my foot through, woods where the wood thrush forever sings, where the hours are early morning ones, and there is dew on the grass, and the day is forever unproved, where I might have a fertile unknown for a soil about me.


Journal, 22 June 1853


As I came home through the woods with my string of fish, trailing my pole, it being now quite dark, I caught a glimpse of a woodchuck stealing across my path, and felt a strange thrill of savage delight, and was strongly tempted to seize and devour him raw; not that I was hungry then, except for that wildness which he represented.


Walden


What we call wildness is a civilization other than our own.


Journal, 16 February 1859


In Wildness is the preservation of the World.


“Walking”


We need the tonic of wildness — to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hearing the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.


Walden


It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such.


Journal, 30 August 1856


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