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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1161
AUTHOR: Henry David Thoreau (1817–62)
QUOTATION: Every man will be a poet if he can; otherwise a philosopher or man of science. This proves the superiority of the poet.
ATTRIBUTION: HENRY DAVID THOREAU, journal entry, April 11, 1852.—The Heart of Thoreau’s Journals, ed. Odell Shepard, p. 126 (1927).