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Henry Beston quotes (showing 1-24 of 24)

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“We patronize the animals for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they are more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“The world to-day is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot. In my world of beach and dunes these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”
Henry Beston
“Our civilization has fallen out of touch with night. With lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars?”
Henry Beston, Northern Farm
“Nature is a part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery man ceases to be man.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House
“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. I have heard them all, and of the three elemental voices, that of ocean is the most awesome, beautiful and varied.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“Our fantastic civilization has fallen out of touch with many aspects of nature, and with none more completely than with night. Primitive folk, gathered at a cave mouth round a fire, do not fear night; they fear, rather, the energies and creatures to whom night gives power; we of the age of the machines, having delivered ourselves of nocturnal enemies, now have a dislike of night itself. With lights and ever more lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars? Having made themselves at home in a civilization obsessed with power, which explains its whole world in terms of energy, do they fear at night for their dull acquiescence and the pattern of their beliefs? Be the answer what it will, to-day's civilization is full of people who have not the slightest notion of the character or the poetry of night, who have never even seen night. Yet to live thus, to know only artificial night, is as absurd and evil as to know only artificial day.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science. It is as impossible to live without reverence as it is without joy.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“The animal should not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the sense we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“We lose a great deal, I think, when we lose this sense and feeling for the sun. When all has been said, the adventure of the sun is the great natural drama by which we live, and not to have joy in it and awe of it, not to share in it, is to close a dull door on natures's sustaining and poetic spirit.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
tags: nature, sun
“The [wild animal:] shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and the travail of the Earth.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“Into every empty corner, into all forgotten things and nooks, Nature struggles to pour life.”
Henry Beston
“And what of Nature itself, you say – that callous and cruel engine, red in tooth and fang? Well, it is not so much of an engine as you think. As for "red in tooth and fang," whenever I hear the phrase or its intellectual echoes I know that some passer-by has been getting life from books.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
tags: nature
“...some have asked me what understanding of Nature one shapes from so strange a year? I would answer that one's first appreciation is a sense that creation is still going on, that the creative forces are as great and as active to-day as they have ever been, and that to-morrow's morning will be as heroic as any of the world. Creation is here and now. So near is man to the creative pageant, so much a part is he of the endless and incredible experiment, that any glimpse he may have will be but the revelation of a moment, a solitary note heard in a symphony thundering through debatable existences of time. Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science. It is as impossible to live without reverence as it is without joy”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“My house completed, and tried and not found wanting by a first Cape Cod year, I went there to spend a fortnight in September. The fortnight ending, I lingered on, and as the year lengthened into autumn, the beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held me that I could not go. The world to-day is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot. In my world of beach and dunes these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“Wolves are not our brothers; they are not our subordinates, either. They are another nation, caught up just like us in the complex web of time and life.”
Henry Beston
“The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the sense we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”
Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
“I am glad that the country world…retains a power to use our English tongue. It is a part of its sense of reality, of its vocabulary of definite terms, and of its habit of earthly common sense. I find this country writing an excellent corrective of the urban vocabulary of abstractions and of the emotion disguised as thinking which abstractions and humbug have loosed upon the world. May there always be such things as a door, a milk pail, and a loaf of bread, and words to do them honor.”
Henry Beston
“I muse again on the dogmatic assertion which I often make that the countryman's relation to Nature must never be anything else but an alliance... When we begin to consider Nature as something to be robbed greedily like an unguarded treasure, or used as an enemy, we put ourselves in thought outside of Nature, of which we are inescapably a part.”
Henry Beston, Northern Farm
tags: nature


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