The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about
Spiders & Spider Webs

If you wish to live and thrive,
Let the spider run alive.
~English proverb

I stopped to admire a spider's web... Threads of gossamer had that mite woven in a symmetrical net of perfect lines that was now embellished by droplets of dew, each globule a minute mirror that returned images of the sky and the grasses and the trees, tiny cameos enameled in color against a background of burnished silver. In the heart of the masterpiece was the builder, a small, crouched being all furry and gray and black, whose shining legs gripped the silks they had so carefully arranged. ~R. D. Lawrence (1921–2003), The North Runner, 1979

The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line...
~Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, in Four Epistles, to H. St. John, Lord Bolingbroke, Epistle I, 1733

Two-legged creatures we are supposed to love as well as we love ourselves. The four-legged, also, can come to seem pretty important. But six legs are too many from the human standpoint. ~Joseph Wood Krutch, "August," The Twelve Seasons: A Perpetual Calendar for the Country, 1949

Heavy dew this morning and every spider web in the garden is strong with pearls of moisture.... webs wherever I look, all shining things of silver beauty. The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider's web. ~Edwin Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons, 1953

There is a granddaddy longlegs stalking about on the floor, with his stilt-like dignity. However can he contrive to walk on such basting-threads? I never saw a living thing with such invisible means of support, — and there's really nothing to him but a couple of eyes, when you look closely at him. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919

How dare we call them horrid pests
Or uncouth names in clumsy Latin!
They weave such lovely, downy nests
Of vari-colored silk and satin.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Rhymed Reviews: The Life of the Spider by J. H. Fabre," in Life, 1913

The surveyors brought back more tarantulas with them, and so we had quite a menagerie arranged along the shelves of the room. Some of these spiders could straddle over a common saucer with their hairy, muscular legs, and when their feelings were hurt, or their dignity offended, they were the wickedest-looking desperadoes the animal world can furnish. If their glass prison-houses were touched ever so lightly they were up and spoiling for a fight in a minute. Starchy?— proud? Indeed, they would take up a straw and pick their teeth like a member of Congress. ~Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872

      Spider telegraph wires
      Flash from oak to sage!
~Winifred Waldron, "Arpeggio," c.1921

Spiders are busy spinning webs in the grass, in the bushes, wherever there is prey to be caught... made of silken strands only a few millionths of an inch thick but stronger than steel. Structures that are pure beauty when jeweled with morning dewdrops. ~Hal Borland, Seasons, 1973

The Spider is a lovely lady.
She knows just what to do.
She weaves a dainty web
to catch the morning dew...
~Frank Asch

The spiders with their pot-bellied bodies and beady eyes, are not beauteous objects, but a spider-web in the sunshine with dew upon it, is one of the loveliest things in the world. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919

O Daddy
Daddy O
How'd you get
Those legs to grow
So very long
And lean in size?
From spiderobic
Did you drink milk?
Or chew on cheese?
And by the way,
Where are your knees?...
~Douglas Florian, "The Daddy Longlegs," Insectlopedia, 1998

Worse than seeing a spider is suddenly no longer seeing that spider. ~Saying

Spiders have the brains of first-class mathematicians. ~Charles-Noël Martin (1923–2005)  [a little altered –tg]

The fairest Home I ever knew
Was founded in an Hour
By Parties also that I knew
A Spider and a Flower...
~Emily Dickinson, c. 1877

Only the spider paid no mind when the unicorn called softly to her through the open door. Arachne was busy with a web which looked to her as though the Milky Way had begun to fall like snow. The unicorn whispered, "Weaver, freedom is better, freedom is better," but the spider fled unhearing up and down her iron loom. ~Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn, 1968

Of the SPIDERS and SCORPIONS, five thousand kinds:
   These are scattered abroad, on the sea and the shore,
Quite unpleasant to think of, but still it reminds
   To be glad there are not many thousand kinds more.
These are eight-legged beauties, with schemes of their own,
And the safest precaution is:  Leave them alone!
~William Pallister, Poems of Science, 1931

But for the robin and the wren,
A spider would o'ercome a man.
~Isle of Wight Words, compiled by Henry Smith, c. 1870

Throughout the night he spun a thread...
Each radius exactly drawn
With trellised filaments between,
And over all bright diamonds shone;
In meshed and tenuous design
It was a fragile, wayside sonnet—
The maker, heedless of acclaim,
Had left no signature upon it.
~Bertha Wilcox Smith, c. 1957

Like most "creepy-crawly" creatures, spiders have been given a bad press for many centuries, yet they are extremely useful, environmentally friendly animals, the majority of which prey actively on insect pests. ~R. D. Lawrence, "The Silk Weavers," A Shriek in the Forest Night: Wilderness Encounters, 1996

"Will you walk into my parlour?" said a Spider to a Fly;
"’Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy..."
~Mary Howitt, "The Spider and the Fly," 1821

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published 2003 Sep 28
revised 2019 Oct 29
last saved 2022 Sep 2