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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.  
~Primo Levi

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

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever. 
~Carl Sagan

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

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

~Maya Angelou

​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.  
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, /The Little Prince/, 1943, translated from French

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May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.
~Robert Frost

With the rose the butterfly's deep in love,
A thousand times hovering round;
But round himself, all tender like gold,
The sun's sweet ray is hovering found.
~Heinrich Heine

Flowers and butterflies drift in color, illuminating spring. 
~Author Unknown

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. 
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods.  
~Edith Wharton

That special touch you have 

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. 
~Marianne Moore

The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity. 
~Attributed to George Carlin

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.  

~Anton Chekhov

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable,
butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a
little sunshine.  
~Jeffrey Glassberg

This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.
~William Butler

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.  
~Andre Gide

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.  
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time. 
~Deborah Chaskin

The butterfly, a cabbage-white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight.
~Robert Graves

Where have those flowers and butterflies all gone
That science may have staked the future on?
He seems to say the reason why so much
Should come to nothing must be fairly faced.
~Robert Frost

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.  
~Author Unknown

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly!  Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
~William Wordsworth

always looked for

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have
sunshine, freedom and a little flower."  
~Hans Christian Anderson

butterfly quotations

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. 

~Richard Bach

And what's a butterfly? At best,
He's but a caterpillar, at rest.
~John Grey

Do ye not comprehend that we are worms,
Born to bring forth the angelic butterfly
That flieth unto judgment without screen?
~Dante Alighieri

I saw a poet chase a butterfly in a meadow. He put his net on a bench
where a boy sat reading a book.  It's a misfortune that it is usually
the other way round.  
~Karl Kraus

I only ask to be free.  The butterflies are free.  
~Charles Dickens

And the case of butterflies so rich it looks
As if all summer settled there and died.
~Philip Larkin, "Autumn"

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

~Paul Erlich

The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower a tethered butterfly.
~Ponce Denis 

Gray sail against the sky,
Gray butterfly!
Have you a dream for going.
Or are you the blind wind's blowing?
~Dana Burnet

Butterflies are self propelled flowers.  
~R.H. Heinlein

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. 
~Rabindranath Tagore

Love is like a butterfly:  It goes where it pleases and it pleases
wherever it goes.  
~Author Unknown

Not quite birds, as they were not quite flowers, mysterious and
fascinating as are all indeterminate creatures.  
~Elizabeth Goudge

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.  
~Joseph Conrad

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

~Richard Buckminster Fuller