Earth is the third planet from the Sun and is the largest of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System, in both diameter and mass. Home to myriad species including humans, it is also referred to as "the Earth", "Planet Earth", "Gaia", "Terra", and "the World".
For quotes specifically concerning the personification of Earth, oft called Mother Nature or Mother Earth, see Mother Nature. Note that there may invariably arise some justified overlap in the quotes between this page and that.
- Alphabetized by author
- The Earth is cylindrical, three times as wide as it is deep, and only the upper part is inhabited. But this Earth is isolated in space, and the sky is a complete sphere in the center of which is located, unsupported, our cylinder, the Earth, situated at an equal distance from all the points of the sky.
- Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
- Rachel CarsonThe Sense of Wonder (1965)
- The earth was made so various, that the mind
Of desultory man, studious of change
And pleased with novelty, might be indulged.
- William Cowper The Task (1785), Book I, The Sofa Line 506.
- This poor world, the object of so much insane attachment, we are about to leave; it is but misery, vanity, and folly; a phantom, — the very fashion of which "passeth away."
- François Fénelon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 206.
- Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not for every man’s greed.
- In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. This skin is already being stitched together. It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies — even our dreams.
- I have very large ideas of the mineral wealth of our Nation. I believe it practically inexhaustible. It abounds all over the western country, from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, and its development has scarcely commenced... Immigration, which even the war has not stopped, will land upon our shores hundred of thousands more per year from overcrowded Europe. I intend to point them to the gold and silver that waits for them in the West. Tell the miners from me, that I shall promote their interests to the utmost of my ability; because their prosperity is the prosperity of the Nation, and we shall prove in a very few years that we are indeed the treasury of the world.
- Abraham Lincoln, message for the miners of the West, delivered verbally to Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax, who was about to depart on a trip to the West, in the afternoon of April 14, 1865, before Lincoln left for Ford's Theatre. Colfax delivered the message to a large crowd of citizens in Denver, Colorado, May 27, 1865. Reported in Edward Winslow Martin, The Life and Public Services of Schuyler Colfax (1868), p. 187–88.
- To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold--brothers who know now they are truly brothers.
- Archibald MacLeishAs quoted in Richard Milhous Nixon's First Inaugural Address (given January 20, 1969).
- What have we done to the world, look what we've done
What about all the peace that that you pledge your only son?
What about flowering fields, is there a time?
What about all the dreams that you said were yours and mine?
Did you ever stop to notice all the children dead from war?
Did you ever stop to notice the crying Earth, the weeping shores?
- The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tomb.
- For naught so vile that on the earth doth live,
But to the earth some special good doth give.
- We are pilgrims, not settlers; this earth is our inn, not our home.
- John Heyl Vincent, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 206.
- The crucified planet Earth,
should it find a voice
and a sense of irony,
might now well say
of our abuse of it,
"Forgive them, Father,
They know not what they do."
The irony would be
that we know what
we are doing.
When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
"It is done."
People did not like it here.
- We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different.
The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore we've learned most of what we know. Recently we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting.
- Carl Sagan,Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1990 Update) The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean [Episode 1], 03 min 55 sec
- We’ve done such a rotten job managing our own planet, we should be very careful before trying to manage others.
- Earth below us
calling, calling home...
- We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave—to the ancient enemies of man—half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.
- Adlai Stevenson, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, last major speech, to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland (July 9, 1965); in Albert Roland, Richard Wilson, and Michael Rahill, eds., Adlai Stevenson of the United Nations (1965), p. 224.
- The materials of wealth are in the earth, in the seas, and in their natural and unaided productions.
- Daniel Webster, remarks in the Senate (March 12, 1838); The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (1903), vol. 8, p. 177.
- The earth, that is sufficient, I do not want the constellations any nearer, I know they are very well where they are, I know they suffice for those who belong to them
- In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection.
- They will not cause any harm
- Or any ruin in all my holy mountain,
- Because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah
- As the waters cover the sea.
- But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time came for the dead to be judged and to reward your slaves the prophets and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.