The Writings of John Burroughs: Literary values and other papers

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Houghton, Mifflin, & Company, 1902 - Natural history
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Page 67 - Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Page 66 - I will not have in my writing any elegance or effect or originality to hang in the way between me and the rest like curtains. I will have nothing hang in the way not the richest curtains. What I tell I tell for precisely what it is.
Page 194 - Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit. No love can be bound by oath or covenant to secure it against a higher love. No truth so sublime but it may be trivial to-morrow in the light of new thoughts. People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
Page 6 - But to speak in literature with the perfect rectitude and insouciance of the movements of animals and the unimpeachableness of the sentiment of trees in the woods and grass by the roadside is the flawless triumph of art.
Page 167 - Thy voice is heard thro' rolling drums, That beat to battle where he stands; Thy face across his fancy comes, And gives the battle to his hands : A moment, while the trumpets blow, He sees his brood about thy knee ; The next, like fire he meets the foe, And strikes him dead for thine and thee. So Lilia sang: we thought her halfpossess'd, She struck such warbling fury thro...
Page 164 - The poet, the orator, bred in the woods, whose senses have been nourished by their fair and appeasing changes, year after year, without design and without heed, — shall not lose their lesson altogether, in the roar of cities or the broil of politics.
Page 204 - Rivulets," in which he says that he has not been afraid of the charge of obscurity in his poems, " because human thought, poetry or melody, must have dim escapes and outlets, — must possess a certain fluid, aerial character, akin to space itself, obscure to those of little or no imagination, but indispensable to the highest purposes. Poetic style, when addressed to the soul, is less definite form, outline, sculpture, and becomes vista music, half-tints, and even less than half-tints.
Page 201 - Man cannot afford to be a naturalist, to look at nature directly, but only with the side of his eye. He must look through and beyond her. To look at her is as fatal as to look at the head of Medusa. It turns the man of science to stone.
Page 202 - I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove, and am still on their trail. Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who had heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.
Page 59 - I should be very unwilling to become responsible to another for my writings, who am not so to myself, nor satisfied with them. Whoever goes in quest of knowledge, let him fish for it where it is to be found; there is nothing I so little profess. These are fancies of my own, by which I do not pretend to discover things but to lay open myself...

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