Buttefly Quotes

This is a collection of butterfly quotes and phrases about butterflies or featuring butterfly imagery and symbols. I have collected a huge selection of quotes that you can browse through and enjoy. There are inspirational butterfly quotes, butterfly love quotes and also quotes about life featuring butterflies. I have personally found many of these quotes very useful in my life and I hope you do to. If you have a quote to contribute, please send it in. I would also love to hear from anyone who knows the authors of some of these, currently un-authored, quotes. Thanks.

Love is like a butterfly, it goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes. Love is like a butterfly, hold it too tight, it’ll crush. Hold it too loose, it’ll fly.

Author: Unknown

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.

Author: Unknown



You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.

Author: Unknown

“Butterflies…Flowers that fly and all but sing.”

Author: Robert Frost

“I would like to think that the singer is the butterfly, and the drummer was just the little grub in the ground, working to become a caterpillar.”

Author: Robert Wyatt (Born: 28th January, 1945), English musician, founder of the band Soft Machine. 

“I’ll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.”

Author: Muhammad Ali (Born: 17th January, 1942 – Died: 3rd June, 2016), American boxer.

“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.”

Author: Richard Bach

“Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.”

Author: Drew Barrymore

“Know thyself! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly.”

Author: Andre Gide

“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

“I embrace emerging experience. I participate in discovery. I am a butterfly. I am not a butterfly collector. I want the experience of the butterfly.”

Author: William Stafford

“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred.”

Author: Ernest Hemingway

“And whether this happiness lasted a hundred seconds or ten minutes, it was so far removed from time that it resembled every other genuine happiness as completely as one fluttering blue lycaenid butterfly resembles another.”

Author: Herman Hesse

“I did a butterfly show in Berlin, and we had a guy who’s an expert on butterflies; who bred them all and who looks after them all in the space.”

Author: Damien Hirst

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

Author: Rabindranath Tagore

“I like – it’s not that I want to be someone different from me, but I suppose it partly is that. I love creating a character in a fantastical situation, like Dr. Frankenstein, like Leo Bloom, a little caterpillar who blossoms into a butterfly. I love that.”

Author: Gene Wilder

“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.”

Author: R.H. Heinlein

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”

Richard Buckminster Fuller, An American engineer who authored over thirty books and became the second president of Mensa International, a society of people with high IQs.

“They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods.”

Author: Edith Wharton

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”

Author: Carl Sagan

“Not quite birds, as they were not quite flowers, mysterious and fascinating as are all indeterminate creatures.”

Author: Elizabeth Goudge

“Bees sip honey from flowers and hum their thanks when they leave.
The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him.”

Author: Rabindranath Tagore

“Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time.”

Author: Deborah Chaskin

“We are closer to the ants than to butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure.”

Author: Gerald Brenan

“Nerves and butterflies are fine – they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.”

Author: Steve Bul

“I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.”

Author: Chuang Tzu

“Women, don’t get a tattoo. That butterfly looks great on your breast when you’re twenty or thirty, but when you get to seventy, it stretches into a condor.”

Author: Billy Elmer

“This magnificent butterfly finds a little heap of dirt and sits still on it; but man will never on his heap of mud keep still.”

Author: Joseph Conrad

“The fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet.”

Author: Paul Erlich

“In nature a repulsive caterpillar turns into a lovely butterfly. But with humans it is the other way around:  a lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive caterpillar.”

Author: Anton Chekhov

“And the case of butterflies so rich it looks
As if all summer settled there and died.”

Author: Philip Larkin

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Author: Maya Angelou

“Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time.”

Author: Deborah Chaskin

“I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.”

Author: Chuang Tzu

“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

Author: Anonymous

“If you have the freedom to fly, why not take the scenic route!”

Author: Claire Williams

“If you want to fly, you have to flap your own wings!”

Author: Claire Williams

“Bees sip honey from flowers and hum their thanks when they leave.
The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him.”

Author: Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

“Go on, hitch a ride on the back of a butterfly. There’s no better way to fly.”

Author: Pat Monahan, Scott Michael Underwood, and James W. Stafford, “Get To Me”

“Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one. It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th, where, I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake – as almost all hats are.”

Author: Nikolaus Laszlo, Nora Ephron, and Delia Ephron, You’ve Got Mail

“A million butterflies rose up from South America,
All together, and flew in a gold storm toward Spain…”

Author: Winfield Townley Scott, “Annual Legend”

“In nature a repulsive caterpillar turns into a lovely butterfly. But with humans it is the other way around: a lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive caterpillar.”

Author: Anton Chekhov

“Gray sail against the sky,
Gray butterfly!
Have you a dream for going.
Or are you the blind wind’s blowing?”

Author: Dana Burnet, “A Sail at Twilight”

“The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.”

Author: Li Po

“As for butterflies, I can hardly conceive of one’s attending upon you; but to question the congruence of the complement is vain, if it exists.”

Author: Marianne Moore, “To a Steam Roller”

“We must remain as close to the flowers, the grass, and the butterflies as the child is who is not yet so much taller than they are. We adults, on the other hand, have outgrown them and have to lower ourselves to stoop down to them. It seems to me that the grass hates us when we confess our love for it. Whoever would partake of all good things must understand how to be small at times.”

Author: Friedrich Nietzsche

“We are closer to the ants than to butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure.”

Author: Gerald Brenan

“Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”

Author: Antoine de Saint-ExupÈry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.”

Author: Vita Sackville-West

“The least thing upset him on the links. He missed short putts because of the uproar of butterflies in the adjoining meadows.”

Author: P.G. Wodehouse

“Know thyself! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly.”

Author: Andre Gide

“Flowers and butterflies drift in color, illuminating spring.”

Author: Author Unknown

“And what’s a butterfly? At best,
He’s but a caterpillar, at rest.”

Author: John Grey

“The butterfly’s attractiveness derives not only from colors and symmetry: deeper motives contribute to it. We would not think them so beautiful if they did not fly, or if they flew straight and briskly like bees, or if they stung, or above all if they did not enact the perturbing mystery of metamorphosis: the latter assumes in our eyes the value of a badly decoded message, a symbol, a sign.”

Author: Primo Levi, An Italian writer and chemist who wrote If This Is Man. The book was an account of his expieriences in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.

“I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.”

Author: Charles Dickens, British novelist who wrote during the victorian period. He was born in 1812 and died in 1870. His most notable works include Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol.

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”

Author: Hans Christian Anderson, a famous Danish author, most noted for his childrens fairy tales. He was born in 1805 and died in 1875.

“The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity.”

Author: George Carlin, American stand-up comic. 

“Happiness does not light gently on my shoulder like a butterfly. She pounces on my lap, demanding that I scratch behind her ears.”

Author: Unknown Author.

“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”

Author: Unknown Author.

“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?”

Author: Unknown Author.

“Love is basically like leaches. They suck until they can’t get enough of you. Until you find a caterpillar that will turn into the butterfly that you have wished for all of your life. Then they just spread their wings and fly away.”

Author: Unknown Author.

“She was the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly ever.”

Author: Mary Russell Mitford – An English writer born in 1787 and died in 1855.

“When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.”

Author: Anna Pavlova – Russian dancer born in 1882 and died in 1931.


“Do ye not comprehend that we are worms born to bring forth the angelic butterfly that flieth unto judgment without screen?”

Author: Dante Alighieri – Italian poet and author, born in 1265 and died in 1321.

“I’d be a butterfly; living a rover, / Dying when fair things are fading away.”

Author: Thomas Haynes Bayly – English dramatist and songwriter, born in 1797 and died in 1839.

“Never touch a butterfly’s wing with your finger.”

Author: Sidonie Gabrielle

“Love is like butterfly, beautiful and delicate… If you truly care for it, you’ll do whatever you can to make it happy, even if that means letting it go.”

Author: Scott Pemberton

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.

Author: Joseph B. Wirthlin

Life seeks life and loves life. The opening of a catkin of a willow, in the flight of the butterfly, in the chirping of a tree-toad or the sweep of an eagle – my life loves to see how others live, exults in their joy, and so far is partner in their great concern.

Author: Edward Everett Hale

Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.

Author: Louie Schwartzberg 

What’s a butterfly garden without butterflies?

Author: Roy Rogers

The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.

Author: Gary Zukav

Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars, because it is his natural characteristic, so the artist works.

Author: Alma Gluck

It’s very tough for me to focus. I’m like: ‘Look, something shiny! No, focus. Oh, there goes a butterfly!’

Author: Gabby Douglas

When I ran, I felt like a butterfly that was free.

Author: Wilma Rudolph

Death consists, indeed, in a repeated process of unrobing, or unsheathing. The immortal part of man shakes off from itself, one after the other, its outer casings, and – as the snake from its skin, the butterfly from its chrysalis – emerges from one after another, passing into a higher state of consciousness.

Author: Annie Besant

And when I was angry, when I was younger, I was in a cocoon. Now I’m a beautiful, black butterfly.

Author: Tracy Morgan

I’m Serena Williams on the court, but away I have so many different names. I call myself Butterfly.

Author: Serena Williams

Everybody knows what a caterpillar is, and it doesn’t look anything like a butterfly.

Author: Lynn Margulis

Is it sin, which makes the worm a chrysalis, and the chrysalis a butterfly, and the butterfly dust?

Author: Max Muller

Making something and sending it out into the world and then people not only responding to it but adopting it for their own and making a separate thing for it, that’s beautiful. It just shows you how much you can affect other people… the butterfly effect of everything you put out into the world.

Author: Marketa Irglova

My education was paid for by the RAF Benevolent Fund, so a charity school, run like an orphanage, with uniforms and beatings. It was tough, but it got me to Cambridge – like being a chrysalis suddenly becoming a butterfly.

Author: Eric Idle

“You’ve gotta be a caterpillar before you are a butterfly. Problem is, most people aren’t willing to be a caterpillar.”

Author: Unknown

“Butterflies are graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable. Butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.”

Author: Unknown

If you can think of a butterfly quote missing from this list then please get in touch and let me know; I’d be happy to add it and make the page even more comprehensive! Thanks.