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Preview: The Blog of Henry David Thoreau

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau

methinks I should hear with indifference if a trustworthy messenger were to inform me that the sun drowned himself last night

Updated: 2016-10-19T18:43:22.235+01:00


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...Thoreau's Journal: 30-Sep-1860


Frost and ice.(image)

tired of farming
...Thoreau's Journal: 29-Sep-1851


Found Hosmer carting out manure from under his barn to make room for the winter. He said he was tired of farming, he was too old. Quoted Webster as saying that he had never eaten the bread of idleness for a single day, and thought that the Lord Brougham might have said as much with truth while he was in the opposition, but he did not know that he could say as much of himself. However, he did not (image)

whose theme is moonlight
...Thoreau's Journal: 28-Sep-1854


As I complain that the voyager to arctic regions, in his description of the scenery, does not enough remind the reader directly or indirectly of the peculiar dreariness of the scene or of the perpetual twilight of the arctic night, so he whose theme is moonlight will find it hard to illustrate it with the light of the moon alone.(image)

lost in the clouds
...Thoreau's Journal: 27-Sep-1852


From Smith’s Hill I looked toward the mountain line. Who can believe that the mountain peak which he beholds fifty miles off in the horizon, rising far and faintly blue above an intermediate range, while he stands on his trivial native hills or in the dusty highway, can be the same with which he looked up at once near at hand from a gorge in the midst of primitive woods? For a part of two days I (image)

flower of autumn
...Thoreau's Journal: 26-Sep-1852


The increasing scarlet and yellow tints around the meadows and the river remind me of the opening of a vast flower-bud; they are the petals of its corolla, which is of the width of the valleys. It is the flower of autumn, whose expanding bud just begins to blush.(image)

excited by the smell
...Thoreau's Journal: 25-Sep-1851


Some men are excited by the smell of burning powder, but I thought in my dream last night how much saner to be excited by the smell of new bread.(image)

old ruts of thought
...Thoreau's Journal: 24-Sep-1859


Though you may have sauntered near to heaven’s gate, when at length you return toward the village you give up the enterprise a little, and you begin to fall into the old ruts of thought, like a roadster. Your thoughts very properly fail to report themselves to headquarters. Your thoughts turn toward night and the evening mail and become begrimed with dust, as if you were just going to put up at ((image)

The telegraph harp
...Thoreau's Journal: 23-Sep-1851


The telegraph harp sounds strongly to-day, in the midst of the rain. I put my ears to the trees and I hear it working terribly within, and anon it swells into a clear tone, which seems to concentrate in the core of the tree, for all the sound seems to proceed from the wood. It is as if you had entered some world-famous cathedral, resounding to some vast organ. The fibres of all things have their (image)

vile weeds
...Thoreau's Journal: 22-Sep-1859


It is remarkable what a curse seems to attach to any place which has long been inhabited by man. Vermin of various kinds abide with him. It is said that the site of Babylon is a desert where the lion and the jackal prowl. If, as here, an ancient cellar is uncovered, there springs up at once a crop of rank and noxious weeds, evidence of a certain unwholesome fertility,—by which perchance the earth(image)

Thoreau's Journal: 21-Sep-1854


I sometimes seem to myself to owe all my little success, all for which men commend me, to my vices. I am perhaps more willful than others and make enormous sacrifices, even of others’ happiness, it may be, to gain my ends. It would seem even as if nothing good could be accomplished without some vice to aid in it.(image)

trivial affairs of men
...Thoreau's Journal: 20-Sep-1851


As I go through the fields, endeavoring to recover my tone and sanity and to perceive things truly and simply again, after having been perambulating the bounds of the town all week, and dealing with the most commonplace and worldly-minded men, and emphatically trivial things, I feel as I had committed suicide in a sense. I am again forcibly struck with the truth of the fable of Apollo serving (image)

the advantages of obscurity
...Thoreau's Journal: 19-Sep-1854


Thinking this afternoon of the prospect of my writing lectures and going abroad to read them the next winter. I realized how incomparably great the advantages of obscurity and poverty which I have enjoyed so long (and may still perhaps enjoy). I thought with what more than princely, with what poetical, leisure I had spent my years hitherto, without care or engagement, fancy-free. I have given (image)

stiffen into statues
...Thoreau's Journal: 18-Sep-1859


Dr. Bartlett handed me a paper to-day, desiring me to subscribe for a statue to Horace Mann. I declined, and said that I thought a man ought not any more to take up room in the world after he was dead. We shall lose one advantage of a man’s dying if we are to have a statue of him forthwith. This is probably meant to be an opposition statue to that of Webster. At this rate they will crowd the (image)

...Thoreau's Journal: 17-Sep-1839


Nature never makes haste; her systems revolve at an even pace. The bud swells imperceptibly, without hurry or confusion, as though the short spring days were an eternity. All her operations seem separately for the time, the single object for which all things tarry. Why, then, should man hasten as if anything less than eternity were allotted for the least deed? Let him consume never so many eons, (image)

southeast storm
...Thoreau's Journal: 16-Sep-1858


When I awake I hear the sound of steady heavy rain. A southeast storm. Our peach tree limbs are broken off by it. It lasts all day, rains a great deal, and scatters many elm boughs and leaves over the street. The wind does damage out of proportion to its strength. The fact is, the trees are unprepared to resist a wind from this quarter and, being loaded with foliage and fruit, suffer so much the (image)