Quotations About / On: BUTTERFLY

  • 1.
    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
    (Muhammad Ali (b. 1942), U.S. boxer. Quoted in The Story of Cassius Clay, ch. 8, George Edward Sullivan (1964). Muhammad Ali's catchphrase was said to have originated with his aide Drew "Bundini" Brown.)
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  • 2.
    Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?
    (Alexander Pope (1688-1744), British satirical poet. Lord Hervey, in Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, l. 308 (1735). The line has passed into common usage, and achieved notoriety in the 1960s when it was used to head the London Times leader July 1, 1967, on Mick Jagger and Keith Richard's arrest on drugs charges—an article which was thought to have contributed to their acquittal.)
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  • 3.
    I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.
    (Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Belacqua, in Dream of Fair to Middling Women (written 1932, published 1992).)
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  • 4.
    I became the butterfly. I got out of the cocoon, and I flew.
    (Lynn Redgrave (b. 1943), British actor; relocated to America. As quoted in the New York Times Magazine, p. 80 (June 6, 1993). The daughter and sister of famous and oppressive English actors, Redgrave was describing her resettlement from England to California, which was followed by a successful diet, marriage, and acting career.)
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  • 5.
    Madam, or sir, would you visit on the butterfly the sins of the caterpillar?
    (Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. The Confidence-Man (1857), ch. 22, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 10, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1984). Spoken by the bachelor.)
    More quotations from: Herman Melville, butterfly
  • 6.
    I saw a poet chase a butterfly in a meadow. He put his net on a bench where a boy sat reading a book. It's a misfortune that it is usually the other way round.
    (Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).)
    More quotations from: Karl Kraus, butterfly
  • 7.
    Butterflies ... not quite birds, as they were not quite flowers, mysterious and fascinating as are all indeterminate creatures.
    (Elizabeth Goudge (1900-1984), British novelist. The Child from the Sea, bk. 1, pt. 2, ch. 1 (1970).)
    More quotations from: Elizabeth Goudge
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