The Quote Garden ™
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Seeing Shapes in Clouds
O! it is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please...
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Fancy in Nubibus"
On the horizon a cloud of a peculiar shape may be seen banking itself up like a huge puff of steam. The thunder-cloud is a dense black, and forms overhead. If you watch it, you can see it growing like an army preparing for battle. ~William S. Walsh, "Lightning," A Handy Book of Curious Information, 1913
I love that no two cloud formations, since time began, have ever been the same. Each moment in time has created its own unique fingerprint. ~Keith Wynn, @fog_descending, tweet, 2017
Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?...
Methinks it is like a weasel... Or like a whale.
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, c.1600 [III, 2, Hamlet]
There is solid pleasure in letting our eyes lead fancy away among the mazes of cloud-land. Beautiful shapes float before our eyes — under our gaze they melt, and change, and recombine, with the limitless fancy of nature. ~George Chaplin Child, M.D., Benedicite, 1866 [a little altered –tg]
Sometimes we see a cloud that's dragonish;
A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
A tower'd citadel, a pendent rock,
A forked mountain, or blue promontory
With trees upon't, that nod unto the world,
And mock our eyes with air...
~William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, c. 1606 [IV, 14, Antony]
The moon hung low in the sky like a yellow skull. From time to time a huge misshapen cloud stretched a long arm across and hid it. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890
Thick clouds, shaped like piles of cannon balls, have slowly peered up from behind the horizon, and rolled themselves hither and thither, spreading and gathering as they went. ~Caroline M. Kirkland, "June Twenty-Ninth, Eighteen Fifty-Nine," 1859
Here stretched, the pleasant turf I press,
In luxury of idleness;
Sun-streaks, and glancing wings, and sky
Spotted with cloud-shapes, charm my eye...
~Alfred B. Street, "A Forest Walk," 1839
The sky, a perfect empty canvas, offers clouds nonetheless. They shift and drift and beg interpretation... such is the nature of art. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson, tweet, 2009
Thick, threatening clouds, assembling soon,
Their dragon wings displayed;
Eclipsed the slow retiring moon,
And quenched the stars in shade.
~James Montgomery, "The Vigil of St. Mark," 1806
SOCRATES: Have you ever, when you looked up, seen a cloud like to a centaur, or a panther, or a wolf, or a bull? ~Aristophanes, The Clouds, translated by William James Hickie, 1905, from the revised text of Dindorf
When clouds appear like rocks and towers, the earth's refreshed by frequent showers. ~Old weather saying
So we sometimes espy a bright cloud formed into an irregular figure; when it is observed by unskilful and phantastic travellers, it looks like a centaur to some, and as a castle to others: some tell that they saw an army with banners, and it signifies war; but another, wiser than his fellow, says it looks for all the world like a flock of sheep, and foretells plenty; and all the while it is nothing but a shining cloud, by its own mobility and the activity of a wind cast into a contingent and inartificial shape. ~Jeremy Taylor
Last saved 2021 Oct 03 Sun 15:48 PDT