A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; -- not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.
Next to us is not the workman whom we have hired, with whom we love so well to talk, but the workman whose work we are.
Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul is the work of the soul, And good for either the work of the other.
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.
Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.
Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.
However intense my experience, I am conscious of the presence and criticism of a part of me, which, as it were, is not a part of me, but a spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it, and that is no more I than it is you. When the lay, it may be the tragedy, of life is over, the spectator goes his way. It was a kind of fiction, a work of the imagination only, so far as he was concerned.
Removing the weeds, putting fresh soil about the bean stems, and encouraging this weed which I had sown, making the yellow soil express its summer thought in bean leaves and blossoms rather than in wormwood and piper and millet grass, making the earth say beans instead of grass, this was my daily work....
The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure.
If it is surely the means to the highest end we know, can any work be humble or disgusting? Will it not rather be elevating as a ladder, the means by which we are translated?
Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the muse.
More Henry David Thoreau Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Henry David Thoreau Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Walden, or Life in the Woods
Malcolm Gladwell - Tony Robbins - Marcel Proust - Salvatore Quasimodo - Nicholas Sparks - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelle - Lu Xun - Laura Ingalls Wilder - John Gray - Charles Bukowski