Monthly Archives: July 2014
A Promise to California
A promise to California, Or inland to the great pastoral Plains, and on to Puget sound and Oregon; Sojourning east a while longer, soon I travel toward you, to remain, to teach robust American love, For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you, inland, and along the Western sea; For these States tend inland and toward the Western sea, and I will also.
We Two Boys Together Clinging
We two boys together clinging, One the other never leaving, Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making, Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching, Arm'd and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving. No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening, Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach dancing, Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing, Fulfilling our foray.
When I Peruse the Conquer’d Fame
When I peruse the conquer'd fame of heroes and the victories of mighty generals, I do not envy the generals, Nor the President in his Presidency, nor the rich in his great house, But when I hear of the brotherhood of lovers, how it was with them, How together through life, through dangers, odium, unchanging, long and long, Through youth and through middle and old age, how unfaltering, how affectionate and faithful they were, Then I am pensive—I hastily walk away fill'd with the bitterest envy.
The Prairie-Grass Dividing
The prairie-grass dividing, its special odor breathing, I demand of it the spiritual corresponding, Demand the most copious and close companionship of men, Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings, Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious, Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and command, leading not following, Those with a never-quell'd audacity, those with sweet and lusty flesh clear of taint, Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and governors, as to say Who are you? Those of earth-born passion, simple, never constrain'd, never obedient, Those of inland America.
There is no reason why the profoundest thoughts should not make easy and exciting reading. A profound thought is an exciting thing — as exciting as a detective’s deductions or hunches. The simpler the words in which a thought is expressed the more stimulating its effect.
“Eric Hoffer and the Art of the Notebook”, Entry (1950); courtesy of Wikiquote. Since I was a few days late with last week’s Quote for the Week, I put an extra in for this week. Enjoy!
To think out a problem is not unlike drawing a caricature. You have to exaggerate the salient point and leave out that which is not typical. “To illustrate a principle,” says Bagehot, “you must exaggerate much and you must omit much.” As to the quantity of absolute truth in a thought: it seems to me the more comprehensive and unobjectionable a thought becomes, the more clumsy and unexciting it gets. I like half-truths of a certain kind — they are interesting and they stimulate.
–“Eric Hoffer and the Art of the Notebook”, Entry (1950); courtesy of Wikiquote
I Hear It Was Charged Against Me
I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions, But really I am neither for nor against institutions, (What indeed have I in common with them? or what with the destruction of them?) Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard, And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large that dents the water, Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument, The institution of the dear love of comrades.
This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful
This moment yearning and thoughtful sitting alone, It seems to me there are other men in other lands yearning and thoughtful, It seems to me I can look over and behold them in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Or far, far away, in China, or in Russia or talking other dialects, And it seems to me if I could know those men I should become attached to them as I do to men in my own lands, O I know we should be brethren and lovers, I know I should be happy with them.
What counts most is holding on. The growth of a train of thought is not a direct forward flow. There is a succession of spurts separated by intervals of stagnation, frustration, and discouragement. If you hold on, there is bound to come a certain clarification. The unessential components drop off and a coherent, lucid whole begins to take shape.
–“Eric Hoffer and the Art of the Notebook”, Entry (1961); courtesy of Wikiquote.