Wail Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 78 quotes )
Did Owen say your grandmother was a banshee?""He said she was 'wailing like a banshee,'" I explained. Dan got out the dictionary , then; he was clucking his tongue and shaking his head, and laughing at himself saying, "That boy! What a boy! Brilliant but preposterous!" And that was the first time I learned, literally, what a banshee was--a banshee, in Irish folklore, is a female spirit whose wailing is a sign that a loved one will soon die.
But it is the knowledge of how contingent my unease is, how dependent on a baby that wails beneath my window one day and does not wail the next, that brings the worst shame to me, the greatest indifference to annihilation. I know somewhat too much; and from this knowledge, once one has been infected, there seems to be no recovering. I ought never to have taken my lantern to see what was going on in the hut by the granary. On the other hand, there was no way, once I had picked up the lantern, for me to put it down again. The knot loops in upon itself; I cannot find the end.
The main reason for the terrible cruelty between men today, apart from the absence religion, is still the refined complexity of life which shields people from the consequences of their actions. However cruel Attila, Genghis Khan and their followers may have been, the act of killing people personally, face to face, must have been unpleasant: the wailing relatives and the presence of the corpses. And thus their cruelty was restrained. Nowadays we kill people through such a complex process of communication, and the consequences of our cruelty are so carefully removed and concealed from us, that there is no restraint on the bestiality of the action.
And when he had put his hand on mine with a cheerful look, wherefrom I took courage, he brought me within to the secret things. Here sighs, laments, and deep wailings were resounding through the starless air; wherefore at first I wept thereat. Strange tongues, horrible utterances, words of woe, accents of anger, voices high and faint, and sounds of hands with them, were making a tumult which whirls always in that air forever dark, like the sand when the whirlwind breathes.
None of us are going to deny what other people are doing. If saying bullshit is somebody's thing, then he says bullshit. If somebody is an ass-kicker, then that's what he's going to do on this trip, kick asses. He's going to do it right out front and nobody is going to have anything to get pissed off about. He can just say, 'I'm sorry I kicked you in the ass, but I'm not sorry I'm an ass-kicker. That's what I do, I kick people in the ass.' Everybody is going to be what they are, and whatever they are, there's not going to be anything to apologize about. What we are, we're going to wail with on this whole trip.
If there are no self-evident first principles, as a foundation for reasoning to conclusions that are not immediately apparent, how can you construct any kind of a philosophy? If you have to prove even the basic axioms of your metaphysics, you will never have a metaphysics, because you will never have any strict proof of anything, for your first proof will involve you in an infinite regress, proving that you are proving what you are proving and so on, into the exterior darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. If Descartes thought it was necessary to prove his own existence by the fact that he was thinking, and that his though therefore existed in some subject, how did he prove that he was thinking in the first place? But as to the second step, that God must exist because Descartes had a clear idea of him? that never convinced me, then or at any other time, or now either. There are much better proofs for the existence of God than that one.
It’s not fair!” Sunny wailed. “Why do you get to stay? Why can’t I stay, if you can?” I had to swallow hard. “That wouldn’t be fair, would it? But I don’t get to stay, Sunny. I have to go, too. And soon. Maybe we’ll leave together.” Perhaps she’d be happier if she thought I was going to the Dolphins with her. By the time she knew otherwise, Sunny would have a different host with different emotions and no tie to this human beside me. Maybe. Anyway, it would be too late. “I have to go, Sunny, just like you. I have to give my body back, too.” And then, flat and hard from right behind us, Ian’s voice broke through the quiet like the crack of a whip. ”What?
She folded her arms and then shouted, "Right you thieving scunners! How dare you steal Miss Treason's funeral meats!""Oh, waily, waily, it's the foldin' o' the arms, the foooldin' o' the aaaarmss!" cried Daft Wullie, dropping to the ground and trying to cover himself with leaves. Around him Feegles started to wail and cower and Big Yan began to bang his head on the rear wall of the dairy.
But when the self speaks to the self, who is speaking?—the entombed soul, the spirit driven in, in, in to the central catacomb; the self that took the veil and left the world—a coward perhaps, yet somehow beautiful, as it flits with its lantern restlessly up and down the dark corridors. 'I can bear it no longer,' her spirit says. 'That man at lunch—Hilda—the children.' Oh, heavens, her sob! It's the spirit wailing its destiny, the spirit driven hither, thither, lodging on the diminishing carpets—meagre footholds—shrunken shreds of all the vanishing universe—love, life, faith, husband, children, I know not what splendours and pageantries glimpsed in girlhood. Not for me—not for me.
With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailings and half-sobs, and was more the pleading of life, the articulate travail of existence. It was an old song, old as the breed itself--one of the first songs of the younger world in a day when songs were sad.
I would like to visit the factory that makes train horns, and ask them how they are able to arrive at that chord of eternal mournfulness. Is it deliberately sad? Are the horns saying, Be careful, stay away from this train or it will run you over and then people will grieve, and their grief will be as the inconsolable wail of this horn through the night? The out-of-tuneness of the triad is part of its beauty.
It was autumn, the springtime of death. Rain spattered the rotting leaves, and a wild wind wailed. Death was singing in the shower. Death was happy to be alive. The fetus bailed out without a parachute. It landed in the sideline Astroturf, so upsetting the cheerleaders that for the remained of the afternoon their rahs were more like squeaks.
He saw merchants trading, princes hunting, mourners wailing for their dead, whores offering themselves, physicians trying to help the sick, priests determining the most suitable day for seeding, lovers loving, mothers nursing their children—and all of this was not worthy of one look from his eye, it all lied, it all stank, it all stank of lies, it all pretended to be meaningful and joyful and beautiful, and it all was just concealed putrefaction. The world tasted bitter. Life was torture
Meanwhile a certain amount of moaning and groaning was coming from upstairs. Sophie kept muttering to the dog and ignored it. A loud, hollow coughing followed, dying away into more moaning. Crashing sneezes followed the coughing, each one rattling the window and all the doors. Sophie found those harder to ignore, but she managed. Poot-pooooot! went a blown nose, like a bassoon in a tunnel. The coughing started again, mingled with moans. Sneezes mixed with the moans and the coughs, and the sounds rose to a crescendo in which Howl seemed to be managing to cough, groan, blow his nose, sneeze, and wail gently all at the same time. The doors rattled, the beams in the ceiling shook, and one of Calcife?s logs rolled off onto the hearth.
Jazz is the music of the body. The breath comes through brass. It is the body’s breath, and the strings’ wails and moans are echoes of the body’s music. It is the body’s vibrations which ripple from the fingers. And the mystery of the withheld theme, known to jazz musicians alone, is like the mystery of our secret life. We give to others only peripheral improvisations.
The father was dry-eyed but the mother kept erupting, like loudly, unprovoked, in a keening foreign wail that was almost like song; it sounded strangely ceremonial and impersonal, like a lament for an idea. Walter went alone to the morgue, without any idea. His love was resting beneath a sheet on a gurney of an awkward height, too high to be knelt by. Her hair was as ever, silky and black and thick, as ever, but there was something wrong with her jaw, some outrageously cruel and unforgivable injury, and her forehead, when he kissed it, was colder than any just universe could have allowed such a young person's forehead to be. The coldness entered him through his lips and didn't leave. What was over was over. His delight in the world had died, and there was no point in anything.
Cruelty is a mystery, and the waste of pain. But if we describe a world to compass these things, a world that is a long, brute game, then we bump against another mystery: the inrush of power and light…unless all ages and races of men have been deluded by the same mass hypnotist (who?), there seems to be such a thing as beauty, a grace wholly gratuitous…we don’t know what’s going on here. If these tremendous events are random combinations of matter run amok, the yield of millions of monkeys at millions of typewriters, then what is it in us, hammered out of those same typewriters, that they ignite? We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.
Think, Dagny, what it is to sit by the window in the eventide and hear the kelpie wailing in the boat-house; to sit waiting and listening for the dead men's ride to Valhal; for their way lies past us here in the north. They are the brave men that fell in fight, the strong women that did not drag out their lives tamely, like thee and me; they sweep through the storm-night on their black horses, with jangling bells! Ha, Dagny! think of riding the last ride on so rare a steed!
Eyes closed a knee in his back hand at his neck forcing his face into the floor of the elevator rough under his cheek smell of vomit and matted fur "God don't hurt me" struggles against indignity his pajamas pulled down around his knees a needle sunk deep into his thigh twists moans and all of it loose like water flowing salt tickles inner edges of his eyes into his mouth twists onto his back arms over his head raw wails of anguish break off in pieces hurt his ears "Baby it's okay" Leo is over him lifts coaxing "Let's get up off the floor huh?" arm around his waist sags heavy his wrist aches where Leo holds him dragged along the watery dark he rolls off Leo's shoulder to the bed eyes closed hands folded in prayer between his legs can't look "God don't hurt me. Please.
What passing bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifle's rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers, nor bells, Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, The shrill demented choirs of wailing shells, And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes, Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall, Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each, slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.