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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about
Wind & Breezes

How refreshing is the breeze which now fans my forehead! — it seems like the sweet breath of a guardian Angel. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

One autumn day a wind came out of the north, grey and gruff and looking for mischief. He joined another bully from the west who felt the same way. Together they howled around the chestnut tree and rattled and throttled its branches, until it bowed and let the winds have their way. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), "Little-Good-for-Nothing," The Attic Mice, 1990

The wind blew — not up the road or down it, though that's bad enough, but sheer across it, sending the rain slanting down like the lines they used to rule in the copybooks at school... ~Charles Dickens, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, 1836

The wind shows us how close to the edge we are. ~Joan Didion, "Los Angeles Notebook," Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968

Spooky wild and gusty; swirling dervishes of rattling leaves race by, fleeing the windflung deadwood that cracks and thumps behind. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), @Raqhun tweet, 2009

The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes, their written language is too difficult for human minds, and their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears. ~John Muir (1838–1914), A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf, 1916

North wind! leaving barren furrows on your track,—
      Furrows bleak and black,—
      North wind! bearer of all bitter, bracing things
      On your sword-like wings...
West wind! I can tell your coming by the way
      All the tree-tops sway;
      Sea-green are your pinions, and your garments curl
      Round you in a whirl...
South wind! South wind! I can feel the rhythmic beat
      Of your silent feet,—
      I can hear your rose-red pinions, and they bear
      All things sweet and fair...
East wind! East wind! with the burnished golden wings,
      And the voice that sings
      Of the sun-god, lord of life and light and heat,
      When my soul you greet
      I would wrap your robe of flame about my heart...
~Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton, "Songs of Air," Nenuphar: The Four-fold Flower of Life, 1911

I'm going to imagine that I'm the wind that is blowing up there in those tree-tops. When I get tired of the trees I'll imagine I'm gently waving down here in the ferns — and then I'll fly over to Mrs. Lynde's garden and set the flowers dancing — and then I'll go with one great swoop over the clover field — and then I'll blow over the Lake of Shining Waters and ripple it all up into little sparkling waves. Oh, there's so much scope for imagination in a wind! ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, 1908

A furious night wind whips tree branches into a violent frenzy.
The moon replies
with a poem.
~Dr. SunWolf, @WordWhispers tweet, 2013,

The music of the wind has a hundred varied notes. It plays on every bush and tree a different harmony, whistling in the thornbushes, surging in the pines and firs, rustling in the evergreens, in winter chanting a mighty anthem in the bare branches, in summer playing a gay, whispering tune among the leaves. Listen to its shivering voice in the winter grass, the silky swish of its music in summer meadows, the dry whisper of its song in rushes and reeds. There is wonder in that wandering call in spring woodlands, when first it murmurs from afar, an almost inaudible stir and rumour, growing louder and ever louder as it sweeps through the forest and cries triumphantly in every tree. Never silent, never still, the restless wind seeks everywhere some instrument on which to play its enchanting music. ~Dallas Kenmare Browne Kelsey (c.1905–1970), "The Music of Nature," 1931

Those delicate wanderers,
The wind, the star, the cloud...
~Æ (George William Russell), "Sacrifice," Homeward Songs by the Way, 1894

It was one of those sunny, boisterous March days with great white clouds sailing across the blue sky, like full-rigged galleons, and a wind that blew tiles off roofs, and hats off heads, and banged doors and slammed windows. ~R. A. Dick (Josephine A. Campbell Leslie, 1898–1979), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1945

The wind is blowing dreams to me. ~James Oppenheim, "Sonnets: VI," War and Laughter, 1916

For what would the Earth and Water do
      O Air! were it not for you
Who nourish the million things that grow,
And quicken the passionate Water's flow,
And drive the current of freedom through
      Wherever you breathe or blow?
~Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton, Nenuphar: The Four-fold Flower of Life, 1911

They found themselves in a dim, cool, green place where winds were fond of purring. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Thin fluttering streamers
Of breeze lash through the swaying boughs...
~John Gould Fletcher, "Green Symphony"

If I could see the wind, it would look orchestral: strands and swirls nested into each other, braiding and springing apart. ~Craig Childs, Virga & Bone: Essays from Dry Places, 2019

Through woods and mountain passes
The winds, like anthems, roll...
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Midnight Mass for the Dying Year," Voices of the Night, 1839

Fan us, breeze, with your odorous kisses... ~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "The Beautiful Harvest," Come for Arbutus, and Other Wild Bloom, 1882

The weathercocks on spires and housetops were mysterious with hints of stormy wind, and pointed, like so many ghostly fingers, out to dangerous seas, where fragments of great wrecks were drifting, perhaps, and helpless men were rocked upon them into a sleep as deep as the unfathomable waters. ~Charles Dickens, Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, 1846

Leaves sway sharp, and through the shadow-swallowed tree-tops
The low nocturnal music of the wind
Makes magic of the vast night...
~James Oppenheim, The Pioneers, 1910

The bawdy wind that kisses all it meets... ~William Shakespeare

Wine-warm winds that sigh and sing,
Led me, wrapped in many moods,
Thro' the green sonorous woods
Of belated Spring...
~Madison Cawein, "Proem," 1887

The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die—migrate or die. ~Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot

When a fresh springtime breeze
embraces you — fling your arms
wide open and hug it right back!
~Terri Guillemets

A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine. ~Acton Bell (Anne Brontë), The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, 1848

The great red moon was swinging
Alow in the purple east;
The robins had ceased from singing,
The sounds of the day had ceased;
The golden sunset islands
Had faded into the sky,
When, warm from the seas of silence,
A wind of sleep came by...
Then slowly the sunset darkened;
The whispering trees were still,
And the hush of the woodland harkened
To a crying whippoorwill.
And the moon grew whiter, and by it
The shadows lay dark and deep—
But the fields were empty and quiet,
For the wind had fallen asleep.
~Charles Buxton Going, "The Sleeping of the Wind," Star-Glow & Song, 1909

The cool, bright air out of doors touched her like a reminding hand. ~May Sinclair, "The Gift," 1908

Wind that whirls the sand,
Loud wind
Cloud wind
Wind of swaying water,
Let me hold your hand,
Let me be your daughter!...
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "A Day: III: Wind Prayer," Youth Riding, 1919

I love the wind at midnight, — when it seems to sigh and wail,
      And shiver, 'neath its mantle spun of moonbeams cold and pale,
      With shadows waving round it, like a wealth of raven hair:
      It seems to look upon me, — the solemn midnight air.
The night-wind is a minstrel, who for centuries has sung,
      And darkness is the temple where his mighty harp is hung;
      'Tis strung with rays of starlight, and I love to hear him sweep
      Those mystic chords, till Nature chants an anthem in her sleep.
~Rosa Vertuer Johnson, "I Love to Hear the Wind Blow," Poems, 1857

Wild air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere...
~Gerard Manley Hopkins, "The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe"

You are my lover, O wind of the night,
      Beautiful, wonderful, cleaving and bright.
      No breath of a mortal might ever compare
      With the sweep of your splendor of measureless air.
Carnal are mortals and slender and small.
      Their thoughts as their bodies are only as tall.
      They slave and they suffer; they lust and they die.
      You are the infinite flow of the sky!
Take me, O wind, in your beautiful gale.
      Yours is the breath that my heart shall inhale,
      Yours the embrace that shall charge me with fire,
      Pure of all earthly, all wanton desire...
~Julia Cooley Altrocchi (1893–1972), "To the Night-Wind," The Dance of Youth and Other Poems, 1917

I stood in the forest on Huron Hill
When the night was old and the world was still.
The Wind was a wizard who muttering strode
In a raven cloak on a haunted road.
~Madison J. Cawein (1865–1914), "The Moonmen"

Sad wails the wind its wild legends telling...
Borne through the night, in loud chorus swelling,
Are dirges of death and anthems of birth...
~Josephine Butterfield Walcott (1840–1906), "Reveries," World of Song, 1878

Gilbert and Anne... were sauntering through the shadows of the Haunted Wood. Beyond, the harvest hills were basking in an amber sunset radiance, under a pale, aerial sky of rose and blue. The distant spruce groves were burnished bronze, and their long shadows barred the upland meadows. But around them a little wind sang among the fir tassels, and in it there was the note of autumn. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

The spirits of the forest,
That to the winds give voice—
I lie the livelong April day
And wonder what it is they say
That makes the leaves rejoice...
~Madison Cawein, "Wood-Words"

Wind of the autumn — O melancholy beauty,
Touch me once — one instant — you and I shall never part!
~John Gould Fletcher, "The Night Wind"

Oh, I love to hear the wind blow; it makes my heart rejoice
To hear it humming by me, with a plaintive, lulling voice.
I love to watch the sunshine, as it twines within the breeze,
And seems to chant with gladness, flashing gayly through the trees.
~Rosa Vertuer Johnson, "I Love to Hear the Wind Blow," Poems, 1857

The wind may alter twenty ways... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Woodnotes, I"

What is there left? The wind makes answer
"I saw the green leaves grow brown and fall;
I danced with the shadows, I the dancer
Among bare branches. For I," he saith,
"Hear the thin music whistle and call,
Music, horn-music, the music of death..."
"The leaves have fallen and who shall discover
What there is left in the blackened tree?
And who will know when the years are over,
Among bare branches if I," wind saith,
"Dance where the shadows and music be,
Music, horn-music, the music of death?"
~Humbert Wolfe, "The Wind," Shylock Reasons with Mr. Chesterton and Other Poems, 1920

Why does the orange blossom kiss the breeze? Because the breeze first kisses the orange blossom. ~T. De Witt Talmage, 1884

rain and wind speak
of more than just
water and air —
rain patters hope
wind whispers let go
~Terri Guillemets

When man calls for aid, he calls first to the Winds. The Winds are always near us, by day and by night. ~"Pawnee Beliefs," Myths and Legends of the Great Plains, selected and edited by Katharine Berry Judson," 1913

Through the velvety wind V-winged
To the nest's nook I balance and buoy
With a sweet joy of a sweet joy,
Sweet, of a sweet, of a sweet joy
Of a sweet—a sweet—sweet—joy.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins

And when the angry storm-king from his thunder cavern springs,
To hush the night's low music, and to break her starry strings,
The wind forgets to murmur, and goes shrieking wildly by,
A demon, clad in tempest-robes torn madly from the sky!
~Rosa Vertuer Johnson, "I Love to Hear the Wind Blow," Poems, 1857

The Little Winds and the Bigger Winds gave up their game, and scuttled off before the growing fury, as old Father Wind pulled handfuls of real wind out of his bag and threw them about. ~Sarah Noble Ives, The Key to Betsy's Heart, 1916

Oh racing wind, thou wizard of the west,
From half across the world ye come to me...
Oh wind, wild wind, blow through my heart to-day!...
Today I am in love with life and thee!
~Jean Wright, "The Wizard Wind"

The air to her face and arms and legs was body-warm, so that it seemed to pass through her, making her a part of it, light and without form. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Sudden Glory, 1951

My soul is a dancer—
A dancer under shimmering willows in the sunlight.
The wind draws a bow across his violin.
He plays a scherzo—
Rippling notes on strings of silver.
Play faster, wind!
My feet are more swift than the leaves of the willow—
Shimmering, shimmering—
Amber shadows in the sunlight.
My feet are more swift than the laughter of waters.
Play faster, wind!
~Ellen Margaret Janson, "Scherzo," c.1921

The wind's old wine was in my heart that day... ~Olive Tilford Dargan (1869–1968)

...passionate wind-songs in the pines. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

I shall dance in the forest...
The wind shall make
      A tune for my feet...
Now I raise my foot and knee;
And spurn the ground; and leap; and see
The sky like a scarf to strain to, touch,
Feel, and be part of, and claim, and clutch,
And wave in my dance! It is a fine
Silken scarf, and it is mine!
It is made for my dance!
      Wind! Louder! Faster!
      Be confusion! Be disaster!...
So I dance! Wind, sing, sing!
Louder, wilder, faster fling
Down your music!...
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Forest Dance," Youth Riding, 1919

The wind stirred the sky like a sea. It made it boil and darken, then it made it foam against the mountains. It howled behind the clouds. The sun had disappeared. So had those still patches of peaceful azure. Nothing remained but clouds racing down towards the south. At times the wind plunged, crushed the wood, and hurled itself on the road, weaving long tresses of dust. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939  [a little altered –tg]

With the blowing of the west wind, old dreams returned. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind. ~Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1974

Wind tries to show Tree how to run wild.
      Tree:  "I cannot leave this place."
      Wind:  "Then let's dance."
~Terri Guillemets

There is a purifying and uplifting potency in the winds, a potency in the waters — ocean and river and great rain. Our civilization has dealt with all these so successfully that we are apt to think of them as docile servants, or perhaps as petty annoyances, and we lose the sense of their power unless we deliberately go out to meet them in their own domain and let them have their way with us. Then, indeed, they sweep us out of ourselves for a season, and that is good. ~Elisabeth Woodbridge, "In the Rain," 1911

Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul. Anne was not wont to be troubled with soul fog. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Wild clouds roll up, slag-dark and slaty gray,
And in the oaks the sere wind sobs and sighs,
Weird as a word a man before he dies
Mutters beneath his breath yet fears to say:
The rain drives down; and by each forest way
Each dead leaf drips, and murmurings arise
As of fantastic footsteps, — one who flies,
Whispering, — the dim eidolon of the day...
~Madison Julius Cawein (1865–1914), "Winter Rain"

All at once the moaning of the wind became a wolfish howl. ~A. B. Shiffrin, "The Black Laugh," 1924  [a little altered —tg]

The howling wind went on down below, enough to tear your guts. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939

This way, Wind, forget-me-nots are little:
Stoop and uplift them...
~James Oppenheim, "Good-morning," War and Laughter, 1916

The night was filled with insects and a hesitant breeze that seemed to change direction with each gust. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

The wind did not move one direction. It was a madhouse wind. ~Craig Childs, Crossing Paths: Uncommon Encounters with Animals in the Wild, 1997

A chill wind
is the most exhilarating
for it often is the storms
that do the cleansing
and the storms
that have the more dramatic beauty
and the storms
that make us stand alone
inside ourselves
arrested, amazed, in awe.
~Kate Lassman, from "Storm clouds," in The Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poetry, Fall 2016

On windy fall days, the rustling of the leaves seems almost musical... These sounds of wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves have enchanted so many people over time that they invented a word to describe them:  psithurism (pronounced sith-err-iz-um). Psithurism comes from the Greek word psithuros, which means whispering., "Wonder of the Day #2256: What Is Psithurism?," 2020

The wind's a housewife, deft and proud
      As any such I've seen;
She wipes the full moon with a cloud
      And keeps its silver clean.
~George L. Kress, "Night Work," in Arizona Highways, August 1966

The wind is the shepherd who drives the clouds
      Across the field of the sky,
And fast or slow, as the wind may blow,
      I watch his flocks go by.
~Mary Hunter Austin (1868–1934), "The Shepherd Wind"

Like baroque pearls,
Like cloudy emeralds,
The clouds and the trees clash together;
Whirling and swirling,
In the tumult
Of the spring,
And the wind.
~John Gould Fletcher, "Green Symphony"

AUSTROMANCY is a method of divination by the winds. It is, apparently, a branch of the science of Aeromancy, which says Agrippa, divines by aërial impressions, by the blowing of the winds, by rainbows, by circles about the moon and stars, by mists and clouds, and by imaginations in clouds and visions in the air. ~“A Short Lexicon of Alchemy,” appendix to The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Aureolus Phillippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim, called Paracelsus, The Great (1493–1541), editors A. E. Waite & L. W. de Laurence, 1894–1910  [Another term for wind divination is anemoscopy. –tg]

Rushing and crushing comes the gale
Of wind that is swept along,
After the thunder and lightning,
Like the chorus to a song.
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "The Summer Rain," Violet Lee, and Other Poems, 1873

The freshness of the rain-wind blew against her face. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Like a guest who cometh late,
Wind of Winter as it passed
Rudely shook the garden gate,
Angry that the latch was fast;
For the year was dark and cold,
And the frost was on the wold.
~Minna Irving, "The Haunted Heart," Songs of a Haunted Heart, 1888

The great-heart wind, that bids us share
The optimism of the trees.
~Madison Cawein, "Wood-Words"

The wind runs laughing up the slope
Stripping off handfuls of wet green leaves,
To fling in people's faces.
Wallowing on the daisy-powdered turf,
Clutching at the sunlight,
Cavorting in the shadow.
~John Gould Fletcher, "Green Symphony"

There is now a breeze, the blue ruffle of which seems to reach almost across to the mainland, yet with streaks of calm... ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950), Poem VII ("Night is my sister, and how deep in love..."), Fatal Interview, 1931

Only those in tune with nature seem to pick up on the energy in wind. All sorts of things get swept off in the breeze — ghosts, pieces of soul, voices unsung, thoughts repressed, love uncherished, and a thousands galore of spiritual ether. ~Terri Guillemets, "Free but homesick," 1995

The wind tells of fairy things... ~Anita Finn, "The Wind"

North wind! leaving barren furrows on your track,—
      Furrows bleak and black,—
North wind! bearer of all bitter, bracing things
      On your sword-like wings,
I would fold my shivering hands upon my breast,
      Letting go my quest,
While you drive me helpless through the whirl
      Of a sudden snowstorm's swirl;
I would clasp my hands about my heart and hope
      Light will break to cope
With the bitter reasoning of illusions lost,
      Callous as your frost!—
North wind! with your sword-like sorrow, maybe you
      Bring a vision new
When your cruel storm goes by, and clear
      All the holy stars appear!
~Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton, Nenuphar: The Four-fold Flower of Life, 1911

West wind! I can tell your coming by the way
      All the tree-tops sway;
Sea-green are your pinions, and your garments curl
      Round you in a whirl;
Should I try to hold you by their merest hem,—
      Thus your course to stem,—
You would rend them from me with a shriek,
      Buffetting my brow and cheek.
West wind! take me on those sea-green wings of yours,
      (Cleaving air as oars,
Cleave the water)—take me into space afar,
      Breaking every bar,
Till I feel your glorious freedom move my soul
      Toward an unseen goal,
While you teach me, as I fly with you,
      How my bonds I may undo!
~Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton, Nenuphar: The Four-fold Flower of Life, 1911

South wind! South wind! I can feel the rhythmic beat
      Of your silent feet,—
I can hear your rose-red pinions, and they bear
      All things sweet and fair;
South wind! I would catch your rainbow-tinted dress
      (Loving loveliness,)
And would let you lead me where they bask
      Who have neither load nor task.
Wind of Venus! wind of Venus! in the south,
      From your amorous mouth
Comes the never-ending legend that inspires
      Half our heart's desires;
Wind of Venus! wind of Venus! in your touch
      Is the magic such
It can change the dreariest of our schemes
      Into rose and azure dreams.
South wind! kiss me on my lips! South wind on mine eyes
      Kiss me, lover-wise;
While I wind about my head your rosy veils,
      Tell me fairy-tales,—
Tales of mystery and passion borne along
      By the breath of song,—
For your wildest tales that thrill us through,
      To the Poet all are true.
~Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton, Nenuphar: The Four-fold Flower of Life, 1911

East wind! East wind! with the burnished golden wings,
      And the voice that sings
Of the sun-god, lord of life and light and heat,
      When my soul you greet
I would wrap your robe of flame about my heart,
      So you may impart
All the quickening message that you bear
      Through the quivering fields of Air.
East wind! sun wind! bring me in this fervid hour
      Thoughts of love and power,
Harmonising each with other, till they frame
      In a wafted flame
One great perfect poem, and its theme shall be
      All that I would see
Blent of nature and the human soul,—
      Not a portion, but the whole.
Sun wind! set a deathless kiss upon my brow,
      And inspire me how
I may write in gold and purple characters
      What the sun confers,—
What of life the sun has bid you bring to me
      For my poesy;—
Though I die beneath your burning breath,
      Breathe,—and give me, after, death!
~Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton, Nenuphar: The Four-fold Flower of Life, 1911

      Every wind is, or ought to be, a poet... This wind has a style, and that wind a mere manner. Nay, there are breezes from the east-southeast, for example, that have hardly even a manner. You can hardly name them unless you look at the weather vane. So they do not convince you by voice or colour of breath; you place their origin and assign them a history according as the hesitating arrow points on top of yonder ill-designed London spire.
      The most certain and most conquering of all is the south-west wind... He prepares the dawn. While it is still dark the air is warned of his presence, and before the window was opened he was already in the rom. His sun — for the sun is his — rises in a south-west mood, with a bloom on the blue, the gray, or the gold. When the south-west is cold, the cold is his own cold — round, blunt, full, and gradual in its very strength. It is a fresh cold... He follows your breath in at your throat...
      He has a splendid way with the sky. In his flight, which is that, not of a bird, but of a flock of birds, he flies high and low at once... Corot has painted so many south-west winds... His skies are thus in the act of flight, with lower clouds outrunning the higher, the farther vapours moving like a fleet out at sea, and the nearer like dolphins. ~Alice Meynell, "Winds of the World"

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published 2001 Jun 11
revised Feb 2015, Sep 2019
last saved 2024 Apr 19