Wing Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 791 quotes )
To such beings, such fugitive beings, their own nature and our anxiety fasten wings. And even when they are with us the look in their eyes seems to warn us that they are about to take flight. The proof of this beauty itself, that wings add is that often, for us, the same person is alternately winged and wingless.
TO SOME I HAVE TALKED WITH BY THE FIREWHILE I wrought out these fitful Danaan rhymes, My heart would brim with dreams about the times. When we bent down above the fading coals. And talked of the dark folk who live in souls. Of passionate men, like bats in the dead trees; And of the wayward twilight companies. Who sigh with mingled sorrow and content, Because their blossoming dreams have never bent. Under the fruit of evil and of good: And of the embattled flaming multitude. Who rise, wing above wing, flame above flame, And, like a storm, cry the Ineffable Name, And with the clashing of their sword-blades make. A rapturous music, till the morning break. And the white hush end all but the loud beat. Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.
When I saw them in Africa, I thought these birds were the greatest fliers of all. Hardly beating their wings, they fly for hours, swooping upwards on air currents with no sign of physical effort. But when they land, they pitch forward on their stubby legs without stopping. They skid along on their bellies, their necks straining to absorb the shock of the landing. Their beaks dig into the sand and they collide with anything in their path. Quite often they break their wings or beaks or spines and remain for the rest of their lives in the scrubby thickets not far from where they crash. The crippled birds sit there blind, paralyzed or in shock, and struggle slowly back and forth to their nests. Some hop on one leg, some drag their crippled wings behind them like broken umbrellas. I wonder whether they ever envy their brothers soaring in the air or if they're glad to be grounded and past their trial.
A free bird leaps on the back of the windand floats downstream till the current endsand dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cagecan seldom see through his bars of ragehis wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trillof things unknown but longed for stilland his tune is heard on the distant hillfor the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breezeand the trade winds soft through the sighing treesand the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreamshis shadow shouts on a nightmare screamhis wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trillof things unknown but longed for stilland his tune is heard on the distant hillfor the caged bird sings of freedom.
The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I had just rounded a corner when his incouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.
I have been reading Plotinus all evening. He has the power to sooth me; and I find his sadness curiously comforting. Even when he writes: “Life here with the things of earth is a sinking, a defeat, a failure of the wing.” The wing has indeed failed. One sinks. Defeat is certain. Even as I write these lines, the lamp wick sputters to an end, and the pool of light in which I sit contracts. Soon the room will be dark. One has always feared that death would be like this. But what else is there? With Julian, the light went, and now nothing remains but to let the darkness come, and hope for a new sun and another day, born of time’s mystery and a man’s love of life.
There were a great many other such tableaux. AsMartial had predicted, bears featured prominently inmost of them. A temple thief was made to reenactthe role of the robber Laureolus, made famous bythe ancient plays of Ennius and Naevius; he wasnailed to a cross and then subjected to the attack ofthe bears. A freedman who had killed his formermaster was made to put on a Greek chlamys and gowalking though a stage forest populated by cavortingsatyrs and nymphs, like Orpheus lost in the woods; when one of the satyrs played a shrill tune on hispipes, the trees dispersed and the man was subjectto an attack by bears. An arsonist was made tostrap on wings in imitation of Daedalus, ascend ahigh platform, and then leap off; the wings actuallycarried him aloft for a short distance, a remarkablesight, until he plunged into an enclosure full of bearsand was torn to pieces.
I AM RESTLESS AM restless. I am athirst for far-away things. My soul goes out in a longing to touch the skirt of the dim distance. O Great Beyond, O the keen call of thy flute! I forget, I ever forget, that I have no wings to fly, that I am bound in this spot evermore. I am eager and wakeful, I am a stranger in a strange land. Thy breath comes to me whispering an impossible hope. Thy tongue is known to my heart as its very own. O Far-to-seek, O the keen call of thy flute! I forget, I ever forget, that I know not the way, that I have not the winged horse. I am listless, I am a wanderer in my heart. In the sunny haze of the languid hours, what vast vision of thine takes shape in the blue of the sky! O Farthest end, O the keen call of thy flute! I forget, I ever forget, that the gates are shut everywhere in the house where I dwell alone!
A Klee painting named 'Angelus Novus' shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
One day he trapped a large raven, whose wings he painted red, the breast green, and the tail blue. When a flock of ravens appeared over our hut, Lekh freed the painted bird. As soon as it joined the flock a desperate battle began. The changeling was attacked from all sides. Black, red, green, blue feathers began to drop at our feet. The ravens ran amuck in the skies, and suddenly the painted raven plummeted to the freshly-plowed soil. It was still alive, opening its beak and vainly trying to move its wings. Its eyes had been pecked out, and fresh blood streamed over its painted feathers. It made yet another attempt to flutter up from the sticky earth, but its strength was gone.
His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.
the cold winds of insecurity... hadn't shredded the dreamy chrysalis of his childhood. He was still immersed in the dim, wet wonder of the folded wings that might open if someone loved him; he still hoped, probably, in a butterfly's unthinking way, for spring and warmth. How the wings ache, folded so, waiting; that is, they ache until they atrophy.
That so many of the well fed young television-watchers in the world's most powerful democracy should be so completely indifferent to the idea of self-government, so blankly uninterested in freedom of thought and the right to dissent, is distressing, but not too surprising. "Free as a bird", we say, and envy the winged creatures for their power of unrestricted movement in all the three dimensions. But alas, we forget the dodo. Any bird that has learned how to grub up a good living without being compelled to use its wings will soon renounce the privilege of flight and remain forever grounded.
For some time she observed a great yellow butterfly, which was opening and closing its wings very slowly on a little flat stone."What is it to be in love?" she demanded, after a long silence; each word as it came into being seemed to shove itself out into an unknown sea. Hypnotized by the wings of the butterfly, and awed by the discovery of a terrible possibility in life, she sat for some time longer. When the butterfly flew away, she rose, and within, her two books beneath her arm returned again, much as a soldier prepares for battle.
The Master Speed No speed of wind or water rushing bybut you have speed far greater. You can climbback up a stream of radiance to the sky, and back through history up the stream of time. And you were given this swiftness, not for hastenor chiefly that you may go where you will, but in the rush of everything to waste, that you may have the power of standing still--off any still or moving thing you say. Two such as you with such a master speed. From one another once you are agreedthat life is only life forevermoretogether wing to wing and oar to oar.
Well, I started out down a dirty road. Started out all alone. And the sun went down as I crossed the hill. And the town lit up, the world got still. I'm learning to fly but I ain't got wings. Coming down is the hardest thing. Well, the good ol' days may not return. And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn. I'm learning to fly but I ain't got wings. Coming down is the hardest thing. Well, some say life will beat you down. Break your heart, steal your crown. So I've started out for God knows where. I guess I'll know when I get there. I'm learning to fly around the clouds. But what goes up must come down
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art! Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes. Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart, Vulture, whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise? Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies, Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood, The Elfin from the green grass, and from me The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
Salom, Salom, dance for me. I pray thee dance for me. I am sad to-night. Yes, I am passing sad to-night. When I came hither I slipped in blood, which is an evil omen; and I heard, I am sure I heard in the air a beating of wings, a beating of giant wings. I cannot tell what they mean .... I am sad to-night. Therefore dance for me. Dance for me, Salom, I beseech you. If you dance for me you may ask of me what you will, and I will give it you, even unto the half of my kingdom.
Show me the telegrams they sent you, one every day for six days while they were walking six hundred miles on their pigeon toes."..1. Feet are as good as wings if you have to. Chickamauga. ...3. In the night sleeping you forget whether you have wings or feet or neither. Chattahoochee. ...6. Pity me. Far is far. Near is near. and there is no place like home when the yellow roses climb up the ladders and sing in the early summer. Pity me. Wednesday Evening In The Twilight And The Gloaming... Well, Wednesday Evening was the only one I noticed making any mention of the yellow roses in her telegram," Hatrack the Horse explained. Then the old man and the girl sat on the cracker box saying nothing, only listening to the yellow roses all on fire with early summer climbing up th ecrooked ladders, up and down and crossways, some of them leaning out and curving and nearly falling.