Metaphors Quotes

Quotes tagged as "metaphors" Showing 1-30 of 142
H.L. Mencken
“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.”
H.L. Mencken, A Book of Burlesques

Fernando Pessoa
“There are metaphors more real than the people who walk in the street. There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women. There are phrases from literary works that have a positively human personality. There are passages from my own writing that chill me with fright, so distinctly do I feel them as people, so sharply outlined do they appear against the walls of my room, at night, in shadows... I've written sentences whose sound, read out loud or silently (impossible to hide their sound), can only be of something that acquired absolute exteriority and a full-fledged soul.”
Pessoa, Fernando, The Book of Disquiet

Milan Kundera
“Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous. Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Orson Scott Card
“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.”
Orson Scott Card, Alvin Journeyman

Stephen King
“You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box abd cover it with wet weeds to die?

Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity.”
Stephen King, The Gunslinger

Andrei Tarkovsky
“We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it's a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.”
Andrei Tarkovsky

Charles Darwin
“...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.

...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories.

But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished.

And this is a damnable doctrine.”
Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82

Joseph Campbell
“There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call "atheists," and those who think they are facts are "religious." Which group really gets the message?”
Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

Stephen King
“Yet suppose further. Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met at a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself. Would you dare climb to the top, gunslinger? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a room?...'

You dare not.'

And in the gunslinger's mind, those words echoed: You dare not.”
Stephen King, The Gunslinger

John Donne
“Up then, fair phoenix bride, frustrate the sun;
Thyself from thine affection
Takest warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take their jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call
Thy stars from out their several boxes, take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all;
And by their blazing signify
That a great princess falls, but doth not die.
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends.”
John Donne, The Complete English Poems

Philip Pullman
“Tolkien, who created this marvellous vehicle, doesn't go anywhere in it. He just sits where he is. What I mean by that is that he always seems to be looking backwards, to a greater and more golden past; and what's more he doesn't allow girls or women any important part in the story at all. Life is bigger and more interesting than The Lord of the Rings thinks it is.”
Philip Pullman

China Miéville
“We speak now or I do, and others do. You've never spoken before. You will. You'll be able to say how the city is a pit and a hill and a standard and an animal that hunts and a vessel on the sea and the sea and how we are fish in it, not like the man who swims weekly with fish but the fish with which he swims, the water, the pool. I love you, you light me, warm me, you are suns.
You have never spoken before.”
China Miéville, Embassytown

Milan Kundera
“Metaphors are dangerous, Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.”
Milan Kundera

Joyce Rachelle
“We all grow tired eventually; it happens to everyone. Even the sun, at the close of the year, is no longer a morning person.”
Joyce Rachelle

Sachin Tendulkar
“As far as the World Cup is concerned, it is a process. We don't want to jump to the 50th floor straight away. We must start on the ground floor.”
Sachin Tendulkar

Cassandra Clare
“Thomas was frowning. “My aunt Tatiana is mad. My father has often said so, that his sister was driven to madness by what happened to her father and her husband. She blames our parents for their deaths.”
“But James has never done anything to her,” said Christopher, his eyebrows knitting together.
“He’s a Herondale,” said Thomas. “That’s enough.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Christopher said. “It is as if one was bitten by a duck and years later one shot a completely different duck and ate it for dinner, and called that revenge.”
“Please do not use metaphors, Christopher,” said Matthew. “It gives me the pip.”
“This is bad enough without mentioning ducks,” said James. He had never fancied ducks since one had bitten him in Hyde Park as a small child.”
Cassandra Clare, Chain of Gold

Sanober  Khan
“for those memories are now
just like these little kittens
I hold in my hands

those can be kissed
and treasured
but not held too tightly.”
Sanober Khan, Turquoise Silence

Rachel Hartman
“Metaphor is awkward, but emotion, by its nature, leaves you no more scalable approach.”
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina

George Lakoff
“Another example of how a metaphor can create new meaning for us came about by accident. An Iranian student, shortly after his arrival in Berkeley, took a seminar on metaphor from one of us. Among the wondrous things that he found in Berkeley was an expression that he heard over and over and understood as a beautifully sane metaphor. The expression was “the solution of my problems”—which he took to be a large volume of liquid, bubbling and smoking, containing all of your problems, either dissolved or in the form of precipitates, with catalysts constantly dissolving some problems (for the time being) and precipitating out others. He was terribly disillusioned to find that the residents of Berkeley had no such chemical metaphor in mind. And well he might be, for the chemical metaphor is both beautiful and insightful. It gives us a view of problems as things that never disappear utterly and that cannot be solved once and for all. All of your problems are always present, only they may be dissolved and in solution, or they may be in solid form. The best you can hope for is to find a catalyst that will make one problem dissolve without making another one precipitate out. [...] The CHEMICAL metaphor gives us a new view of human problems. It is appropriate to the experience of finding that problems which we once thought were “solved” turn up again and again. The CHEMICAL metaphor says that problems are not the kind of things that can be made to disappear forever. To treat them as things that can be “solved” once and for all is pointless. [...] To live by the
CHEMICAL metaphor would mean that your problems have a different kind of reality for you.”
George Lakoff, Metaphors We Live By

John Green
“Reading with an eye towards metaphor allows us to become the person we’re reading about, while reading about them. That’s why there is symbols in books and why your English teacher deserves your attention. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the author intended the symbol to be there because the job of reading is not to understand the author’s intent. The job of reading is to use stories as a way into seeing other people as a we ourselves.”
John Green

Hermann Hesse
“Voll Blüten steht der Pfirsichbaum
nicht jede wächst zur Frucht
sie schimmern hell wie Rosenschaum
durch Blau und Wolkenflucht.

Wie Blüten geh'n Gedanken auf
hundert an jedem Tag --
lass' blühen, lass' dem Ding den Lauf
frag' nicht nach dem Ertrag!

Es muss auch Spiel und Unschuld sein
und Blütenüberfluss
sonst wär' die Welt uns viel zu klein
und Leben kein Genuss.”
Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

John Connolly
“Know a man by his metaphors.”
John Connolly, The Wolf in Winter

Neil Gaiman
“I toyed briefly with an image someone once mentioned to me, of a village in the shadow of a twin-peaked mountain. In the morning the sun rises. At lunch it sets behind the mountain. In the early afternoon it rises once more. The cocks crow for the second time, and later the sun sets again. No. One peak. Metaphors should not be belaboured.”
Neil Gaiman, Signal to Noise

Mark Haddon
“I find people confusing.

This is for two main reasons.

The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words. Siobhan says that if you raise one eyebrow it can mean lots of different things. It can mean "I want to do sex with you" and it can also mean "I think that what you just said was very stupid."

Siobhan also says that if you close your mouth and breathe out loudly through your nose, it can mean that you are relaxed, or that you are bored, or that you are angry, and it all depends on how much air comes out of your nose and how fast and what shape your mouth is when you do it and how you are sitting and what you said just before and hundreds of other things which are too complicated to work out in a few seconds.

The second main reason is that people often talk using metaphors. These are examples of metaphors

I laughed my socks off.
He was the apple of her eye.
They had a skeleton in the cupboard.
We had a real pig of a day.
The dog was stone dead.

The word metaphor means carrying something from one place to another, and it comes from the Greek words meta (which means from one place to another) and ferein (which means to carry), and it is when you describe something by using a word for something that it isn't. This means that the word metaphor is a metaphor.

I think it should be called a lie because a pig is not like a day and people do not have skeletons in their cupboards. And when I try and make a picture of the phrase in my head it just confuses me because imagining an apple in someone's eye doesn't have anything to do with liking someone a lot and it makes you forget what the person was talking about.”
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Charles Simic
“The idea is to spin the wheel of metaphors and images until sparks of associations begin to fly for the reader.”
Charles Simic

Wallace Stegner
“That night she wrote a hasty sketch and showed it to Oliver. "It's all right," he said. "But I'd take out that stuff about Olympian mountains and the Stygian caverns of the mine. That's about used up, I should think.”
Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Amit Kalantri
“If you have been battling the cannon fire, gunfire won't bother you.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Jason Hickel
“The thing about growth is that it sounds so good. It’s a powerful metaphor that’s rooted deeply in our understanding of natural processes: children grow, crops grow… and so too the economy should grow. But this framing plays on a false analogy. The natural process of growth is always finite.”
Jason Hickel, Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World

“She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside to see what it was.”
Zora Neal Hurston

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