Poets & Poetry Quotations
As Anacreon says "the works of men shine," so the sounds of men and birds are musical.—Journal, 8 March 1853
English literature, from the days of the minstrels to the Lake Poets,—Chaucer and Spenser and Milton, and even Shakespeare, included- breathes no quite fresh and in this sense wild strain. It is an essentially tame and civilized literature, reflecting Greece and Rome. Her wilderness is a green wood,—her wild man a Robin Hood. — "Walking"—"Walking"
Fishermen, hunters, woodchoppers, and others, spending their lives in the fields and woods, in a peculiar sense a part of Nature themselves, are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation. — Walden—Walden
Genius is the worst of lumber, if the poet would float upon the breeze of popularity.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
I am glad to hear that any words of mine, though spoken so long ago that I can hardly claim identity with their author, have reached you. It gives me pleasure, because I have therefore reason to suppose that I have uttered what concerns men, and that it is not in vain that man speaks to man. This is the value of literature. — Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 27 March 1848—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 27 March 1848