Quotes from Walking

Henry David Thoreau ·  60 pages

Rating: (4.1K votes)


“Wildness is the preservation of the World.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“A truly good book is something as natural, and as unexpectedly and unaccountably fair and perfect, as a wild-flower discovered on the prairies of the West or in the jungles of the East. Genius is a light which makes the darkness visible, like the lightning’s flash, which perchance shatters the temple of knowledge itself--and not a taper lighted at the hearthstone of the race, which pales before the light of common day.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return; prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only, as relics to our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again; if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man; then you are ready for a walk.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. You may safely say, A penny for your thoughts, or a thousand pounds. When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them—as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon—I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking



“The walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours …but it is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Life consists with Wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him. One who pressed forward incessantly and never rested from his labors, who grew fast and made infinite demands on life, would always find himself in a new country or wilderness, and surrounded by the raw material of life. He would be climbing over the prostrate stems of primitive forest trees.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Every sunset which I witness inspires me with the desire to go to a west as distant and as fair as that into which the Sun goes down. He appears to migrate westward daily and tempt us to follow him. He is the Great Western Pioneer whom the nations follow. We dream all night of those mountain ridges in the horizon, though they may be of vapor only, which were last gilded by his rays.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Give me for my friends and neighbors wild men, not tame ones. The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“So we saunter toward the Holy Land, till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, as warm and serene and golden as on a bankside in autumn.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking



“What is most of our boasted so-called knowledge but a conceit that we know something, which robs us of the advantage of our actual ignorance?”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness, and ever I am leaving the city more and more, and withdrawing into the wilderness.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exlcude yourself from the true enjoyment of it.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking



“It's too late to be studying Hebrew; it's more important to understand even the slang of today.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present. He is blessed over all mortals who loses no moment of the passing life in remembering the past.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“SAUNTERING, which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre," to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Which is the best man to deal with,-he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Some travellers tell us that an Indian had no name given him at first, but earned it, and his name was his fame; and among some tribes he acquired a new name with every new exploit. It is pitiful when a man bears a name for convenience merely, who has earned neither name nor fame”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking



“If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again—if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man—then you are ready for a walk.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“A township where one primitive forest waves above, while another primitive forest rots below,—such a town is fitted to raise not only corn and potatoes, but poets and philosophers for the coming ages. In such a soil grew Homer and Confucius and the rest, and out of such a wilderness comes the Reformer eating locusts and wild honey.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Sobre todo, no podemos permitirnos el lujo de no vivir en el presente.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“There is a difference between eating and drinking for strength and from mere gluttony.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“‎I love even to see the domestic animals reassert their native rights — any evidence that they have not wholly lost their original wild habits and vigor; as when my neighbor's cow breaks out of her pasture early in the Spring and boldly swims the river, a cold grey tide, twenty-five or thirty rods wide, swollen by the melted snow. It is the Buffalo crossing the Mississippi.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking



“A man’s ignorance sometimes is not only useful, but beautiful, while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse than useless beside being ugly. Which is the best man to deal with, he who knows nothing about a subject, and what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, — or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Give me a wildness whose glance no civilization can endure”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them—as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon—I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“Here is this vast, savage, howling mother of ours, Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children, as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned from her breast to society, to that culture which is exclusively an interaction of man on man -- a sort of breeding in and in, which produces at most a merely English nobility, a civilization destined to have a speedy limit.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking


“At present, in this vicinity, the best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned, and the walker enjoys comparative freedom. But possibly the day will come when it will be partitioned off into so-called pleasure-grounds, in which a few will take a narrow and exclusive pleasure only,—when fences shall be multiplied, and man-traps and other engines invented to confine men to the public road, and walking over the surface of God’s earth shall be construed to mean trespassing on some gentleman’s grounds. To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it. Let us improve our opportunities, then, before the evil days come.”
― Henry David Thoreau, quote from Walking



About the author

Henry David Thoreau
Born place: in Concord, Massachusetts, The United States
Born date July 12, 1817
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“I’ve been a bit worried about my maleness lately, somewhere along the line I seem to have picked up too many female hormones.”
― Sue Townsend, quote from True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole


“A hell, from which one can be saved by a quibble that would carry no weight with a police magistrate, cannot be taken very seriously.”
― Aldous Huxley, quote from The Devils of Loudun


“What will that mean to each of you? “It will mean that those of you who might have lived to be seventy-one must die at seventy. Some of you who might have lived to be eighty-six must cough up your ghost at eighty-five. That’s a great age. A year more or less doesn’t sound like much. When the time comes, boys, you may regret. But, you will be able to say, this year I spent well, I gave for Pip, I made a loan of life for sweet Pipkin, the fairest apple that ever almost fell too early off the harvest tree. Some of you at forty-nine must cross life off at forty-eight. Some at fifty-five must lay them down to Forever’s Sleep at fifty-four. Do you catch the whole thing intact now, boys? Do you add the figures? Is the arithmetic plain? A year! Who will bid three hundred and sixty-five entire days from out his own soul, to get old Pipkin back? Think, boys. Silence. Then, speak.”
― Ray Bradbury, quote from The Halloween Tree


“If you love someone, even the best one-night stand isn’t going to erase that.”
― Julie Cross, quote from Whatever Life Throws at You


“Your mother says she will be brave and keep a stiff upper lip,” said Father. “Americans are heartless. I will cry into my pillow every night.”
― Cassandra Clare, quote from Nothing but Shadows


Interesting books

Lost in Babylon
(4.2K)
Lost in Babylon
by Peter Lerangis
Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
(125.5K)
Waiting for Godot: A...
by Samuel Beckett
Five Ways to Fall
(11.8K)
Five Ways to Fall
by K.A. Tucker
Morrie: In His Own Words
(4.4K)
Tower Lord
(32K)
Tower Lord
by Anthony Ryan
Helvetti
(116.8K)
Helvetti
by Dante Alighieri

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.