Tag: Henry David Thoreau

Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book

As our dear visitors can see in the title heading of our blog, we describe it as being a Commonplace Book.

What is a commonplace book?!!!

It has a very long history; the first commonplace books are believed to have been compiled from the 14th century and continued to be popular onto the19th century.

They can be regarded as a kind of scrap book where the compiler noted and collected scraps of information, etc. Entries are made only in handwriting and if needed illustrated by hand too. These were what differed a commonplace book from a scrap book –  no cutting and pasting bits of paper!.

commonplacebook

commonplace book

The  subjects of interest can be diverse; such as poems, prose, short essays, tracts, critique, prayers, observations,academic, thoughts/ideas on subjects, drawings/illustrations, myths, folklore, quotes, news, lists, recipes, facts on various subjects, etc.

Collecting items like this to record in a book was called  commonplacing.

Commonplace books were first known in fourteenth century Italy. They were known as zibaldone.  The books were referred by Italians as “salads of many herbs.”

They often included sketches and cursive written scripts. Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio kept such books.

17th-century-commonplace book

17th century commonplace book

Later among others, Thomas Hardy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Francis Bacon,Mark Twain  and John Milton all kept commonplace books.

A Commonplace book is not a diary or a journal,

Commonplace books contained notes and sometimes drawings on subjects, which were of particular interest to the collector and compiler. The collector may have copied/sketched or made notes of articles, tracts etc., from rare and not generally available books. Public access to libraries were rare too in those days.

These compilers may even had contributed to the social media of their age when showing or lending out their books to others.

We think  today’s 21st Century internet blogs serve as a type of commonplace book.

The blogger collects items of interest to themselves from various sources the internet, newspapers, reference books (as we do) etc., and which they think might interesting to others by sharing on line.

Humans have an insatiable thirst for the varied and diverse topics that make up our modern lives.

Welcome to our commonplace book, welcome to globalgranary.life.

 

Henry David Thoreau & The Simple Life

I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.
– Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau & The Simple Life

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

As for style of writing, if one has anything to say, it drops from him simply and directly, as a stone falls to the ground.
– Henry David Thoreau
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A gun gives you the body, not the bird.
~Henry David Thoreau
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A truly good book teaches me better than to read it.  I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint…. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
– Henry David Thoreau
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A true friendship is as wise as it is tender.
—Thoreau.
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A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
~Henry David Thoreau
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Even the utmost good-will and harmony and practical kindness are not sufficient for friendship, for friends do not live in harmony, merely, as some say, but in melody. We do not wish for friends to feed and clothe our bodies,—neighbors are kind enough for that,—but to do the like office to our spirits. For this, few are rich enough, however well disposed they may be.
—Thoreau.
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Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other.  ~Henry David Thoreau
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He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.
– Thoreau

I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, though the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have been introduced.
– Henry David Thoreau
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“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put foundations under them. ”
– Henry David Thoreau
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If the engine whitles, let it whistle till it is hoarse for its pains.  If the bell rings, why should we run?  Time is but the stream I go a fishing in.
– Henry David Thoreau
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I love to be alone.  I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
– Henry David Thoreau

I sometimes hear my friends complain finely that I do not appreciate their fineness. I shall not tell them whether I do or not. As if they expected a vote of thanks for every fine thing which they uttered or did! Who knows but it was finely appreciated? It may be that your silence was the finer thing of the two…. In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood. Then there can never be an explanation.
– Thoreau

It takes two to speak the truth – one to speak, and another to hear.
– Henry D Thoreau

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines.
– Henry David Thoreau
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Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.
~Henry David Thoreau
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Men are probably nearer the central truth in their superstitions than in their science.
– Henry David Thoreau
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Make the most of your regrets … to regret deeply is to live afresh.
– Henry David Thoreau
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Men are born to succeed, not to fail
– Henry David Thoreau
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Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.
– Henry David Thoreau
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The Friend asks no return but that his Friend will religiously accept and wear and not disgrace his apotheosis of him.  They cherish each other’s hopes.  They are kind to each other’s dreams.
~Henry David Thoreau
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The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
~Henry David Thoreau
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There is no remedy for love but to love more.
– Henry David Thoreau
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The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.
~Henry David Thoreau
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There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world and yet we tolerate incredible dullness.
– Henry David Thoreau
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Things do not change; we change.
– Thoreau

Water is the only drink for a wise man.
– Henry David Thoreau
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We should impart our courage, and not our despair, our health and ease, and not our disease, and take care that this does not spread by contagion.
– Henry David Thoreau
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What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.
~Henry David Thoreau

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You must not only aim aright,
But draw the bow with all your might.
– Henry David Thoreau