On roses

by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1841)

Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright

He dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage.
He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose.

These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day.
There is no time to them.
There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.
Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less.

Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike.

But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future.
He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.


  1. …y el lunes fue un muy buen dí­a, se augura una muy bella primavera…

  2. Cristina says:

    Sí£o tantos poetas e filosofos q falam sobre flores.
    Outor dia mesmo comentei que qria ter a paciencia das flores, q sabem esperar o tempo de ser broto, florescer e etc.
    Rosas sí£o sempre ótimas métaforas para o aprendizado da paci~encia e simplicidade, mas deixando a metáfora de lado, penso assim: As rosas sí£o uma espécie sem alma, sem carne, sem vontades.
    E alguém pode mesmo afirmar que uma rosa é feliz?? E se a beleza da rosa for apenas o único modo q ela tem de expressar tudo que sente? E se o belo que vemos na rosa for uma lágrima? Ou um modo de dizer eu te amo? A rosa ní£o pode fazer nada que já ní£o esteja determinado. Tudo q ela pode fazer para expressar sentimentos, se os tem, é optar por florescer ou morrer.
    Nós ní£o. Ao ser humano Deus concedeu vontades, desejos, colocou sangue, lágrimas, hormí´nios, neurí´nios. Fez a complexidade proposital para que deixassemos a simplicidade para as flores.
    Pensando bem, eu ní£o posso ser como uma flor. E nem sei se gostaria.

  3. Adana says:

    é muito bonito o que está escrito…
    ní£o há nada mais perfeito do que ROSA..

  4. Cristina B says:

    It’s nice that so many peaople think, talk and exchange ideas on Love in this World!
    This is the positive aspect of Internet!
    Have a nice day.

  5. Bern says:

    This blog reminded me of the Little Prince’ ROSE:

    “You’re lovely, but you’re empty,” he went on. “One couldn’t die for you. Of course an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than you altogether, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass. Since she’s the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except for two or three for butterflies). Since’s she the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.”

    “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

  6. pam says:

    This rose story makes me think of a couple of things. How often I compare myself to others and how inadequate I feel. This is something I have been working on for a long time. I’m getting better.

    When I hear the word rose I often think of the line in a song, “i never promised you a rose garden”. But I promise myself a rose garden. My life consists of beauty, thorns, dirt, wind, rain and sunshine. All which I need to grow. LIFE IS GOOD.


  7. La naturaleza es perfecta, los seres humanos nos creemos perfectos algunos
    son egoistas viven llenos de complejos y miedos que no le permiten ser feliz. La rosa tarda algun tiempo en convertirse en tallo, capullo para luego regalarnos
    su hermosura en varios colores perfecta ,humilde y hermosa. nos regala su belleza, sencillez y su excelente aroma. Los seres humanos debemos aprender la belleza de la naturaleza y de la rosa recuerda nunca alcanzaras la rosa sin que te hinquen las espinas.

  8. Breda says:

    Roses are red ,
    violets are blue
    sugar is sweet
    and so are you.
    My tangent

  9. Marie-Christine says:

    c’est un tres bon investissement.
    J’espere que ces messieurs en tiendront compte :)
    Un autre instant pour vivre un bon moment dans le moment,.

  10. CarmenMaria says:

    Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of my favorite poet. I read this poem back in college for my lit class. How odd Paulo chose this particular poem to post. :)

  11. Empié says:

    Creo que en el año pasado me dejé la piel que mude, de nuevo soy otro, vuelvo a ser yo, no termino de creermelo.

    Atras se quedó un mundo, hoy empieza otro, curiosamente aquí­ no hay ganas de que pase el tiempo, solo ganas de disfrutar y de hacer lo que antes no podí­a. Creo que todo va a cambiar muy deprisa, puedo interactuar con el mundo, puedo realizar lo que quiero, puedo alcanzar mis sueños.

    Un saludo, por cierto, a pesar de la lumbalgia la clase de tai chi ha sido fantastica, soy otro, y mañana de nuevo seré otro más evolucionado… lo magico cobra forma.

    Hasta pronto.

  12. Yan says:

    Chinese Version:

    选自: 《自立》 拉尔夫.瓦尔多.艾默生(美国) 译者:罗兰





    I didn’t translate this one, because there is already a book of him in Chinese. This book is also recommended now in the schools and unis for young people. He is even called the Confucius of America.

    At my time, I only heard about him, but didn’t get the chance to read his book. I will put it on my book list. now :) Thank you, Paulo.


  13. JocelynRousseau says:

    …Vivre un instant dans son présent, est sans aucun doute exigeant, mais oh combien gratifiant; Merci la vie !

  14. Tehsin Abid says:

    Beautiful words Paulo …

  15. Angel Molina says:


  16. Natalie says:

    Thank you Paulo
    this is beautiful indeed

    however i feel that the most difficult problem people face is facing their own Light. It is easier to live in the fear or darkness or bent over than take responsibility and power that comes with facing your own Light.
    How many of us can face the mirror and acknowledge Who We Are and accept that as we do anyone or anything else?

    May we all have at least one moment at a time to see our greatness
    then we will be like Roses


  17. Marie-Christine Grimard says:

    Il est difficile d’appendre í  se connaí®tre, mais il faut savoir pardonner í  son passé, pour apaiser son présent et pouvoir s’envoler vers son avenir.
    J’espère trouver cette paix et la distribuer autour de moi, í  tous ceux que j’aime. Paix et Amour, cette idée n’est pas neuve mais toujours aussi enthousiasmante.
    It is difficult to learn to know ourself, but we have to forgive our past, to appease our present, and get power to fly to ours future.
    I hope to find that peace and distribute it around me, to all people I love.
    Peace and Love, it is an old idea but still exciting.

  18. antes de sair para o trabalho admire uma rosa ,perceba a perfeicao nao queira ser perfeita ou/so admire aspire seu perfume la no trabalho lembre-se dela ,ai voce vai saber o quero dizer…..

  19. tenho um jardim com varias especies tambem rosas ,todos os dias olho para elas .os seres humanos estao perdendo a nocao da vida ,do belo ,meio ambiente,nao a mas tempo para admirar uma rosa .. resultado final e o

  20. Jessica says:

    Beautiful indeed <3

  21. Kavita Srivastava says:

    But it is very difficult to live Only in present, n strive for success .Like wisper of air the past will again touches you. And your shy future will never let you walk alone in your life .The Desire of Happiness has always reminds me to
    make New goals in life n live fully in present and let my past n future walk behind me as shadows of friends walking hand in hand.

  22. aditya says:


  23. Yorinda says:

    Thank you, Paulo, for this beautiful poem.

    Nature reminds us how we can live in the present and just be.

    The forests would be very quite if the birds would only sing, when the were sure they would sing perfectly.

  24. To be present in time and be above it too…. Nice

  25. Pearl Bernardo says:

    It is good to be reminded every now and then that time is too precious to waste on overly dwelling in the past or being too future focused to lose the joy of the moment. Aptly represented by the rose, glorying in its momentary magnificence. The next time I see a rose, it will be in this new context. Thank you Paulo for a timely sharing. My 2012 will be much more fulfilling and meaningful.

  26. Jeremy says:

    Oh may we live in the present and taste and see what is around us right now!

  27. Tica Coady says:

    There is no time for fear or regret, only for love! The love of where I am and who I am right now. As the great Tina Turner says in her album, “Beyond”, where there is love, Love heals! When one heals, one grows. Life is so simple. Why must I complicate it?

  28. James Stygles says:

    Give people you love their roses today while they are still with us on this earth.

  29. David Pimentel says:

    simple y profundo…

  30. Tarot says:

    This is beautiful

  31. Caroline says:


    You yourself are a Sage – I love your words and your works and never have you written anything I have not appreciated, understood or found lacking in any way
    Thank you xxx

  32. Bina says:

    And that flower, when I see it,
    captures me and lures me to a place where I am not comparing it to anything from any other moment ……I am there witnessing it’s magnificence.

  33. Grace Pascua says:

    simply inspiring !

  34. maria luxan says:

    en nuestro actual estado de conciencia, el pasado es sólo eso,no podemos sobreactuarlo, ni vivenciarlo denuevo, mientras tanto nos perdemos las inmensas oportunidades q nos brinda la vida para crecer……………entre mas alimentemos el recuerdo pasado con nuestra energí­a, allí­ seguirá, ya q existe gracias a nosotros, muchas veces mudaremos de cuerpo, de escenario, y encontraremos distintas situaciones, pero muy probablemente nos encontremos con nuestros seres mas queridos, la mutación está siempre presente, y como dijo Raúl Seixas, “yo quiero ser una metamorfosis ambulante..”

  35. Heart says:

    Did you ever discuss baby-names? Rose, for a female, is such a beautiful name, especially in the Irish version, Roshin.. You never guess my favorite flowers..

  36. evelyn says:

    i love roses, and wish I get and do the idea of what it represents.

  37. Daniel says:

    Great article! I think roses are beautiful. :)

    Bed of roses

    I grabbed it with both hands
    little regard for the thorns
    captured by the beauty
    I wanted it all
    so with bloodied palms
    I paid homage to her love

    And they warned me of the perils
    friend and foe alike
    told me to let go
    before the rose withered
    and left my heart and hands in tatters
    but I wasn’t convinced
    I wanted it all

    these flowers in her garden
    should I forsake all that is good and sweet
    and be fearful of thorns?
    Is that how love works?
    On the one hand adoring of the beauty
    and on the other full of scorn?

    I want it all
    and you may call me a fool
    but only if your garden is full of roses
    and not a single thorn

    You my friend
    would have me give this away
    in case it one day fades
    and my enemy so dear
    you would fill my heart with fears
    but I’ll have it all
    so give me this love
    thorns and all

    1. Caroline says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Have you read Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet? What he says of Love is awe inspiring…. :)

  38. Esther says:

    ” En la vida siempre existirán fracasos y triunfos, tanto personales como profesionales; existen etapas de tristeza como de alegrí­a, muchas veces cuando la tristeza o el fracaso nos agobian pareciera no haber una salida, o el sufrimiento pareciera eterno; no es fácil sobrellevar momentos difí­ciles cuando particularmente puede ser que en la cuenta de tu vida has restado mas que sumado.
    “Mas en los momentos mas adversos de la misma forma que en los momentos de alegrí­a debemos agradecer y amar la vida. Vive con intensidad ahun cuando tengas que llorar; disfruta tus lagrimas te harán apreciar mas cuando sonrias; medita en tu fracaso te enseñara a valorar el triunfo, contempla las etapas buenas y malas de la vida y aceptalas cuando las vivas serán parte siempre de ella. Mas sobre todo nunca dejes de amar la vida, siente como late tu corazón con fuerza y la naturaleza viva te rodea!!!!! VIVE AHORA, POR QUE MAí‘ANA NADIE SABE SI LO HARA!!!

  39. Esther says:

    Así­ es, somos tan perfectos o ahun mas que una rosa, pero nos sentimos inadactados o imperfectos, casi siempre pensando en que dirán o en la aprobación de los demás, nos mata la curiosidad por saber lo que pasara mañana y casi siempre soñamos con un futuro que nunca llegara, cuando lo mas factible es el dí­a que se vive hoy!!!!

  40. Leandro Domingues says:

    I do not know why this happens to us. Why be afraid? Shame? What are the errors? We invented the errors in our mind.
    God made us in His image and likeness, we conscienciíªncia of things, create difficulties in our way, we fear, shame and mistakes, we make comparisons.
    We are timid and apologetic, always cite a saint or a sage, and forget that no one is so perfect that it can learn from each other, and nobody is so foolish that it can not teach anything.

    Maybe it’s because we look up in the saints and wise and want to be like them.

    The heroes are the villains of some others.


    1. Leandro Domingues says:

      Each quote we do the sages and saints, is also a bit of what we think we are or would like to be.

    2. Leandro Domingues says:

      Each quote we do the sages and saints, is Also a bit of what we think we are or would like to be.

      I model myself on you, someone who followed a dream until you reach it, never giving up.

  41. Anoush Mkrtchyan says:

    “Die rose ist ohne warum: sie bluhet weil sie bluhet.” Angelius Silezius ))))

  42. Olga says:

    Esa es la idea. Las rosas no tienen ego. Deberí­a bañarme en rosas. Mmm.

  43. Daisy Rosario González says:

    La rosa es fuerte en todos los momentos de su cultivo….su color…olor…entereza de belleza dentro de la naturaleza, nos invita renovar nuestros pensamientos….la madre tierra para que siempre boten hermosas plantas para la belleza visual y espiritual…así­ mismo el alimento para sobrevivir…aunque el hombre para mantenerse necesita tener fuerza de espí­ritu para enfrentar con alegrí­a las espinas de la vida…solo que la rosa de viento refresca cada instante de vida terrenal…

  44. SILVASMITH says:

    Thanks for your soothing balm on painful torments.

  45. Kati Lubek says:

    Beautiful words!

  46. This post could not have come at a better time:) I have recently reunited with a very good friend of mine after 13 years in Chile. She moved there back then and is still living there at the present with her husband and 2 beautiful children. We reminisced about the past and the trips to Europe we tool together, however, I was left speechless when she repeated many times how she would love to go back to those days….Now, they are wonderful memories, but, going back now, would never be the same as it was, it never is…times change, if we would focus on living in the present, we change as well, we grow from our experiences and memories…it is important to keep making NEW and wonderful memories. Because she is stuck on remembering the past, she is missing out on enjoying and making new memories here in Chile with her children. Every stage of our life is a precious one, the present moment should be embraced with a brand new memory! I am trying to let her see this and make her firgure it out for herself…every moment we spend together or together with her children, I let her acknowledge it and tell her, we are creating new memories together!

  47. antoniogaviagonzalez says:

    gracias adios lavendicon delas maravillas que son provistas con majestucidad elpensar que como h ermosas abeces nos recuedan
    algunos momentos dolorososcuando por tomarlas sinconoserlas sugrandesa noslleva aconocer alos grsndes amores vendiciones infinitas con un gran abraso

  48. Mu says:

    The rose, grown by “His” hand,
    its beauty is perfect
    but thorns may give some effect.
    Does it also have pain?
    Is its cry in vain?
    ‘Cause all lives have feeling.
    Can you hear its crying?
    Can you feel its heart bleeding?
    Is there a way for its pain to relieve?
    O’ God, with strong believe,
    Will find a way to release,
    Lord, let me find the light, please.

    1. lise says:

      tous ces beaux comentaires me rassure dans une grande détresse que je vis en cette fin d’année.merci

  49. …el lunes es un ben dí­a para podar los rosales, si no están helados, claro…brotaran pronto con alegrí­a…