Historical quote Vintage

Quote: Theodore Roosevelt

“Speak softly, and carry a big stick”

On September 2, 1901, Teddy Roosevelt used the phrase “speak softly, and carry a big stick” to describe his foreign policy. Big Stick diplomacy defined his presidency.

The widespread use of ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’ began with American president Theodore Roosevelt. In a letter to Henry L. Sprague, on January 26th 1900, he wrote:

“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

Speak softly and carry a big stick

The stick does not have to be big to aid the journey. The stick can realise a confidence. Learn how to use your stick when “speaking softly” fails the mark.


Quote: Horace Kephart 1916

Horace Sowers Kephart (September 8, 1862 – April 2, 1931) was an American travel writer and librarian

Seriously, is it good for men and women and children to swarm together in cities and stay there, keep staying there, till their instincts are so far perverted that they lose all taste for their natural element, the wide world out of doors?

Granting, then that one deserves relief now and then from the hurry and worry that would age him before his prime, why not go in for a complete change while you are about it? Why not exorcise the devil of business and everything that suggests it? The best vacation an over-civilized man can have is to go where he can hunt, capture and cook his own meat, erect his own shelter, do his own chores and so, in some measure, pick up again those lost arts of wildcraft that were our heritage through ages past but of which not one modern man in a hundred knows anything at all. In cities our tasks are so highly specialized, and so many things are done for us by other specialists, that we tend to become a one handed and one idead race. The self dependent life of the wilderness nomad brings bodily habits and mental processes back to normal, by exercise of muscles and lobes that otherwise might atrophy from want of use.

— Horace Kephart 1916

Edward Hirsch, Walking with His Muse

“Poetry is a vocation. It is not a career but a calling. For as long as I can remember, I have associated that calling, my life’s work, with walking. I love the leisurely amplitude, the spaciousness, of taking a walk, of heading somewhere, anywhere, on foot. I love the sheer adventure of it, setting out and taking off. You cross a threshold and you’re on your way. Time is suspended. Writing poetry is such an intense experience that it helps to start the process in a casual or wayward frame of mind. Poetry is written from the body as well as the mind, and the rhythm and pace of a walk can get you going and keep you grounded. It’s a kind of light meditation. Daydreaming is one of the key sources of poetry — a poem often starts as a daydream that finds its way into language — and walking seems to bring a different sort of alertness, an associative kind of thinking, a drifting state of mind.”

Edward Hirsch, Walking with His Muse