Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes: Ralph Waldo Emerson who went by his middle name Waldo, was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism in his 1836 essay “Nature”. Following this work, he gave a speech entitled “The American Scholar” in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. considered to be America’s “intellectual Declaration of Independence. Below we’ve compiled some of our favorite Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes for your enjoyment.
Emerson wrote poetic prose, ordering his essays by recurring themes and images. His poetry, on the other hand, is often called harsh and didactic.
Emerson saw a direct connection between man, nature and God. Historian Grant Wacker describes Emerson’s belief: “God was best understood as a spirit, an ideal, a breath of life; everywhere and always filling the world with the inexhaustible power of the divine presence.
The transcendentalist movement encompassed many beliefs, but these all fit into their three main values of individualism, idealism, and the divinity of nature.