80 Famous Thoreau Quotes That Are Truly Inspiring

80 Famous Thoreau Quotes That Are Truly Inspiring
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Tripboba.com - Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher best known as the author of the book, 'Walden'.

His essay on 'Civil Disobedience' attracted people's attention and influenced the political thoughts and actions of such famous figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.

To get to know more about him, Tripboba has compiled a list of Henry David Thoreau quotes in this segment. So, keep scrolling and be inspired!

Best Henry Thoreau quotes

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Let’s get started with some of the most famous Thoreau quotes down below.

  • “If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “There is always a present and extant life, be it better or worse, which all combine to uphold.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “If an injustice requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the government machine.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau quotes

  • “There are old heads in the world who cannot help me by their example or advice to live worthily and satisfactorily to myself; but I believe that it is in my power to elevate myself this very hour above the common level of my life.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler, solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “It is never too late to give up our prejudices.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Walden Henry David Thoreau quotes

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“Walden” is one of the best books written by Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau's central message at Walden is to live simply, independently, and wisely.

Read the following Henry David Thoreau quotes from this book and let’s get inspired!

  • “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
  • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” ― Henry David Thoreau,
  • “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “However, mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
  • “Things do not change; we change.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Transcendentalism quotes Thoreau

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Henry David Thoreau was one of the most influential members of the transcendentalist movement.

Transcendentalism is a philosophy that promotes intuition over logic and independence, and is heavily influenced by the European Romantic movement and Eastern religious texts.

Let’s learn more about it through the following Henry David Thoreau quotes.

  • “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
  • “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”― Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau love quotes

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The following are Thoreau quotes about love that may show you a fresh perspective of the renown poet on cherishing others.

  • “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
  • “In a world of peace and love, music would be the universal language.”
  • “Love must be as much a light as it is a flame.”
  • “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
  • “Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.”
  • “I love you not as something private and personal, which is my own, but as something universal and worthy of love which I have found.”
  • “Between whom there is hearty truth there is love.”
  • “It is strange to talk of miracles, revelations, inspiration, and the like, as things past, while love remains.”
  • “Your religion is where your love is.”
  • “There is only one path to Heaven. On Earth, we call it Love.”
  • “A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service.”
  • “The purity men love is like the mists which envelope the earth, and not like the azure ether beyond.”
  • “What is the singing of birds, or any natural sound, compared with the voice of one we love.”
  • “Love does not analyze its object.”
  • “May we so love as never to have occasion to repent of our love!”
  • “What avails it that another loves you, if he does not understand you? Such love is a curse.”
  • “Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.”

Thoreau nature quotes

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Here are some inspiring Henry David Thoreau quotes to see our nature and surroundings from the American naturalist’s perspective. Enjoy!

  • “Nature is full of genius, full of divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “The bluebird carries the sky on his back.” ― Henry David Thoreau       
  • “Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “There is more of good nature than of good sense at the bottom of most marriages.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • "Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth - Henry David Thoreau.
  • “What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another?” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “To be admitted to Nature’s hearth costs nothing. None is excluded, but excludes himself. You have only to push aside the curtain.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” ― Henry David Thoreau

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