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Poignant   /pˈɔɪnjənt/   Listen
Poignant

adjective
1.
Arousing affect.  Synonyms: affecting, touching.  "Poignant grief cannot endure forever" , "His gratitude was simple and touching"
2.
Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Poignant" Quotes from Famous Books



... game the thimble had not been found at all; suppose its place was unknown for ever: the result on the players would not be playful, it would be tragic. That thimble would hag-ride all their dreams. They would all die in asylums. The pleasure is all in the poignant moment of passing from not knowing to knowing. Mystery stories are very popular, especially when sold at sixpence; but that is because the author of a mystery story reveals. He is enjoyed not because he creates mystery, ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... the first time she felt his strength as her body leaned to his. Slowly he picked his way ashore while she reclined in his embrace, her arms about his neck, her smooth cheek brushing his. A faint, intoxicating perfume she used affected him strangely, increasing the poignant sense of her nearness; a lock of her hair caressed him. When he deposited her gently upon her feet he saw her face had gone white and that ...
— The Ne'er-Do-Well • Rex Beach

... moment Nan hesitated, conscious of an intense disinclination to open the letter. It gave her a queer feeling of panic, recalling with poignant vividness the day when she and Maryon had last been together. At length, somewhat dreading what it might contain, she opened ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... had not been there all summer; the beautiful little spot had no longer any allurement for her. The spirit of her young lover never came to the tryst now; and the memories connected with John Meredith were too painful and poignant. But she had happened to glance backward up the valley and had seen Norman Douglas vaulting as airily as a stripling over the old stone dyke of the Bailey garden and thought he was on his way up the hill. If he ...
— Rainbow Valley • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... beyond her own understanding, as she sat weeping slowly, silently. The aspect of those forlorn graves, that recorded the final ebbing of hope and life at the pest camp, had struck her recollection with a most poignant appeal. Strangers, wretches, dying alone, desolate outcasts, the terror of their kind, the epitome of repulsion—they were naught to her! Yet they represented humanity in its helplessness, its suffering, its isolated woe, and its great and ...
— The Raid Of The Guerilla - 1911 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... buried in deep sleep close to the garret eaves I heard my mother call me—and something in her voice pierced me, roused me. A poignant note of alarm ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... execution the prisoners are visited by their relatives. The farewell which Serge Golovine takes of his family is rightly considered one of the most poignant and most cleverly constructed scenes that ...
— Contemporary Russian Novelists • Serge Persky

... do not love their Mustard overstrong, put equal Quantities of the white and black Mustard-Seed into the Mill, and then the Flour will not be so poignant to the Palate, and will have a brighter Look. If your Mill be set very sharp, the Flour will be so fine, that it ...
— The Country Housewife and Lady's Director - In the Management of a House, and the Delights and Profits of a Farm • Richard Bradley

... hand across her eyes, though there were no tears in them, and stood upright, holding herself tensely as if she were battling for calm; then she replaced the poignant note in its envelope, and went back to the stables. Again she met no one, for those who were down were in ...
— At Love's Cost • Charles Garvice

... this, I think, proceeded in him from indulgence toward human nature rather than from indifference to evil. To his friend the disposition to exalt and glorify co-existed, in a very remarkable manner, with a power of severe analysis of character and poignant exhibition of it,—a power which few possess without exercising it some time or other to their own sorrow and injury. The consequence to Mr. Coleridge was that he sometimes seemed untrue to himself, when he had but brought forward, one after another, ...
— Biographia Epistolaris, Volume 1. • Coleridge, ed. Turnbull

... weary days. Very different are the idleness of love and the idleness of grief. Very different is it to be alone with your hope and alone with your despair. Lizzie failed to rally her musings. I do not mean to say that her sorrow was very poignant, although she fancied it was. Habit was a great force in her simple nature; and her chief trouble now was that habit refused to work. Lizzie had to grapple with the stern tribulation of a decision to make, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 89, March, 1865 • Various

... In this desperate necessity one is often tempted to think that, if all the words of the dictionary were tumbled down in a heap and then all those fortuitous juxtapositions and combinations that made tolerable sense were picked out and pieced together, we might find among them some poignant suggestions towards novelty of thought or expression. But, alas! it is only the great poets who seem to have this unsolicited profusion of unexpected and incalculable phrase, this infinite variety of topic. For everybody else everything has been said before, and said over again after. ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... title to demand that we should be slaves to their guilt and insolence; or that we should serve them in spite of themselves. Minds, sore with the poignant sense of insulted virtue, filled with high disdain against the pride of triumphant baseness, often have it not in their choice to stand their ground. Their complexion (which might defy the rack) cannot go through such a trial. Something ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... pleasure, in order to understand certain allusions in the correspondence of his last years, when his affairs were in the most embarrassed condition, and his absence from Vienna frequently caused by the pressure of creditors. He appears at this time to have experienced moments of poignant self-reproach. His love of dancing, masquerades, masked balls, &c., was so great, that he did not willingly forego an opportunity of joining any one of those assemblies, whether public or private. He dressed handsomely, and wished to make a favourable ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... slender, wasted by sickness, gray before his time, with pale cheeks and wrinkled brow, he seemed at first like a person of no significance—a reed shaken in the wind. But there was a look in his deep-set, poignant eyes, as he gathered all the glances of the multitude to himself, that belied his mean appearance and prophesied power. Hermas knew very well who it was: the man who had drawn him from his father's house, the teacher who was instructing him ...
— The Blue Flower, and Others • Henry van Dyke

... second of them it follows that the life of the average man is overspread with a dull, turbid, uniform gravity; whilst the brow of genius glows with mirth of a unique character, which, although he has sorrows of his own more poignant than those of the average man, nevertheless breaks out afresh, like the sun through clouds. It is when the genius is overtaken by an affliction which affects others as well as himself, that this quality in him is most in evidence; for then ...
— The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; The Art of Controversy • Arthur Schopenhauer

... into the making of this modern mood of self-complacency. New knowledge has helped, by which disasters, such as once awakened our fathers' poignant sense of sin, are now attributed to scientific causes rather than to human guilt. When famines or pestilences came, our fathers thought them God's punishment for sin. When earthquakes shook the earth or comets hung ...
— Christianity and Progress • Harry Emerson Fosdick

... his diffidence with poignant regret, and, she once more taking alarm, he ventured, as Maria stood near his chair, to approach her lips with a declaration of love. She drew back with solemnity, he hung down his head abashed; but lifting his eyes timidly, they ...
— Posthumous Works - of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman • Mary Wollstonecraft

... polished shaft need lift its head In lettered eulogy above the sainted dead— His deeds are monuments above the dust whereon we tread! When from its fragile tenement of clay To fairer realms his spirit winged its way, With poignant grief we stood around the bier Which held the lifeless form of one held dear, And broken hearts that knew no comfort then Still mourn the loss of one of ...
— The Old Hanging Fork and Other Poems • George W. Doneghy

... and seeing all things in Him; saturating, as it were, the universe with the thought of God, and recreating his own spirit with communion of friendship to Him; to that man lower goods do first disclose their real sweetness, their most poignant delight, and their most solid satisfaction. To say of a world where God has set us, that it is all 'vanity and vexation of spirit,' goes in flat contradiction to what He said when, creation finished, He looked upon His world, and proclaimed to the waiting seraphim around that 'it ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... malevolent character of the Nausetts had been sufficiently manifested in their repeated and destructive attacks on the settlement, and their willful desecration of the graves of the exiles, to awaken the most poignant fears in her breast. Rodolph, too, was absent, and Brewster was still at the Wampanoge village; and where should she seek ...
— The Pilgrims of New England - A Tale Of The Early American Settlers • Mrs. J. B. Webb

... hunger that was almost too fierce to be endured assailed him. His was a strong body, demanding much nourishment, and it cried out to him for relief. He tried to forget in sleep that he was famished, but he only dozed a while to awaken to a hunger more poignant than ever. ...
— The Masters of the Peaks - A Story of the Great North Woods • Joseph A. Altsheler

... rich! Folly! The hod-carrier and helot who works from dawn to dusk, who goes in rags, who fares on coarsest food, whose wife and children live in squalor, may be considered unhappy, but they never experience real suffering, acute, unasuageable, poignant grief, until they become possessed of money and mansions and modern grandeur, only to find themselves coldly isolated. Sudden wealth has made them too grand for their former friends, it cannot secure them entrance into the society which they ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... before, walking thoughtfully over it. He had had with him two of the Lexington militia who, in the battle, had been near poor Todd, their colonel, while fighting like a lion to the last and bleeding from many wounds. The recollection of it all was very clear now, very poignant: the bright winding river, there broadening at its ford; the wild and lonely aspect of the country round about. On the farther bank the long lofty ridge of rock, trodden and licked bare of vegetation for ages by the countless passing buffalo; blackened by ...
— The Choir Invisible • James Lane Allen

... girls rode through the sunshine and shadow-filled forest, their hearts filled with a happiness so poignant it ...
— The Outdoor Girls in the Saddle - Or, The Girl Miner of Gold Run • Laura Lee Hope

... be said generally that his book is merely the theoretical statement and consistent and systematic exposition of the practice prevailing in his time. It is the novel statement of it in a complete theoretical form that lends it such a poignant interest. The same thing, I may remark in passing, applies to the immortal little work of La Rochefaucauld, who, however, takes private and not public life for his theme, and offers, not advice, but observations. The title of this fine little book is ...
— The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... she and her darkened, flower-scented room wore an air of coolness and settled repose that was a poignant relief after the glaring sunshine outside and the confusion of ...
— Betty Wales Freshman • Edith K. Dunton

... impotent guard of the upraised arm and clenched fist,—but in those painted eyes, into which, all-fascinated, we ever gazed, reading in them all that crouching terror, all the punishment of that spectral presence, all the poignant consciousness of his fate to whom such things could happen, to whom already ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... But the men who used the word failed to perceive that what justified these qualities in Michelangelo's work was piercing, poignant, spiritual passion, of which their age ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... quite lost her presence of mind, and quaking with shame began to weep. Master abbot surveyed her from head to foot, and seeing that she was fresh and comely, fell a prey, old though he was, to fleshly cravings no less poignant and sudden than those which the young monk had experienced, and began thus to commune with himself:—"Alas! why take I not my pleasure when I may, seeing that I never need lack for occasions of ...
— The Decameron, Volume I • Giovanni Boccaccio

... sight of a mass of money at that moment, when money was everything to me, roused every lurking demon in my breast) seemed to appall, if it did not frighten her, for she rose, and meeting my eye with a gaze in which shock and some strange and poignant agony totally incomprehensible to me were ...
— Agatha Webb • Anna Katharine Green

... its origin in the parental instinct, more common, of course, in women than in men. The feeling of affectionate pity and the impulse to rescue from pain are most intense when the distressed thing is a child, and particularly one's own. One of the most poignant instances extant is the speech of Andromache, one of the Trojan women in Euripides's play of that name, to her child who is about to be ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... silence. A sense of poignant embarrassment descended upon those present. No one knew what to say or where to look. Garnett, with a laboured ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... an old admirer until she had secured several new ones, and generally consoled those who had served her by a present of twenty or thirty thousand serfs. On the death of Lanskoi, it is recorded of her that "she gave herself up to the most poignant grief, and remained three months without going out of her palace of Czarsko Selo," thus perpetrating a very curious practical satire upon the holiest of human affections. Her grenadier lover Potemkin, according to the character given ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... zealous Christians and disloyal Jews, and hostile works against Judaism were the order of the day. Most of them, however, like the fabulous snake, vented their poison and died. It was different with McCaul's poignant diatribe against the cause of Judaism and the honor of the Talmud, which had been translated into many languages. Montefiore, while in Russia, urged Levinsohn to defend his people against their traducers, and the bed-ridden sage, almost blind ...
— The Haskalah Movement in Russia • Jacob S. Raisin

... For the time the thought of war inspired Prescott with the most poignant repulsion, since he was taking this girl to the army which he expected ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... followed by the prose dialogues "Operette Morali." In 1833, declining health led Leopardi to withdraw to Naples. One year before his death he brought out a last collection of poems distinguished alike for poignant pessimism and for their high lyric beauty. Characteristic of Leopardi's verse is ...
— A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year - Volume Two (of Three) • Edwin Emerson

... into chaos, family claims dwindled away before her; she had appropriated all his being to her uses. Rastignac and Delphine found each other at a crisis in their lives when their union gave them the most poignant bliss. Their passion, so long proved, had only gained in strength by the gratified desire that often extinguishes passion. This woman was his, and Eugene recognized that not until then had he loved her; perhaps love is only gratitude for pleasure. This woman, vile ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... nothing but epithets, the cheapest and most contemptible of all species of abuse. Were two men, in your presence, to call each other such names, I think it would excite nothing but disgust in your mind. When the thought is clear and poignant, there is little need to have recourse to mere epithets; indeed, men never use the latter, except when there is a deficiency of ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... Indeed she had made up her mind to ask her father to allow her, knowing well that he would consent to that or to any other wholesome wish of hers. But then came the thought that he would be all alone at home; and following that came another thought, and one of more poignant feeling. He was alone now! Already, for many days, she had left him, for the first time in her life! Stephen was quick to act; well she knew that at home there would be no fault found with her for a speedy ...
— The Man • Bram Stoker

... best, perhaps; the situation seemed strained, unreal, and the final shriek a little high for her. But oh, what a lovely creature she was, alone in her cell! What lines her supple figure gave the loose prison robe, what poignant, simple, cruelly deserted grief, poured from her big, girlish eyes! And I do not believe anyone will ever again make such exquisite pathos of the poor creature's crazed return to her first meeting with her lover. So clearly did she picture to herself this early scene that we all ...
— Margarita's Soul - The Romantic Recollections of a Man of Fifty • Ingraham Lovell

... I should wander homeless on Christmas Eve? Seriously, you cannot expect a man of taste to lend himself to so hackneyed a situation? Besides, I share this apartment with the composer monsieur Nicolas Pitou. Consider how poignant he would find the room's associations if he ...
— A Chair on The Boulevard • Leonard Merrick

... secret, stealthy, unrequited lover enjoy to the full the presence, the smiles, the bland and cheerful society of her whom his heart is silently worshipping. Even this shall in future hours be a sweet remembrance. By and by, it is true, there will come a season of poignant affliction. But better all this than one uniform, perpetual torpor. He will have felt that mortal man may breathe the air of happiness; he will have learned something of the human heart ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... of the poverty and feebleness of mankind, the inveteracy of selfishness, the uncertainty of human impulses and aspirations and promises; what poignant questioning of the necessity, the utility of self-immolation must have tortured the soul of Jesus in that hour! It was His black hour. None can imagine the depth of that darkness but those who have themselves passed through some of its outer shadows, ...
— Out-of-Doors in the Holy Land - Impressions of Travel in Body and Spirit • Henry Van Dyke

... Bordeaux there was St. Martial, thus Metz had St. Clement, Asti and Venice had their guardian saints, Bayeux had St. Vigor, Rouen had St. Romain. The emblem of eternal strife had become a universal allegory acceptable in every place and in all centuries, and so commonly believed, that until some poignant necessity arose for its assertion, it was never—as we shall see—mentioned even by those historians of the life of St. Romain, who might more especially be expected to know the details ...
— The Story of Rouen • Sir Theodore Andrea Cook

... off, every trace of her momentary heroism had died away. Faint and trembling, recoiling from every harsh word of his as from a blow, she had followed him towards the door, and in her straining eyes and seeking, outstretched hands as she watched him disappear, there was a pathos so true, so poignant, that it laid a spell upon the audience, and the curtain fell amid a breathless silence, which made the roar that ...
— Miss Bretherton • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... suspect that her calm demeanor was assumed, and that some poignant grief was concealed beneath that air of tranquility. For a moment, we were silent and embarrassed. Then ...
— The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar • Maurice Leblanc

... he could think or reflect, was the rush of a poignant and searching tenderness. This intimate, human sound, heard amid the desolation about them, woke pity. It was so incongruous, so pitifully incongruous—and so vain! Tears—in this vast and cruel wilderness: of what avail? ...
— The Wendigo • Algernon Blackwood

... his two acts Mr. Rutherford Mayne has compressed the age-long attitude of Ulster towards the arts.... Light is breaking after the long Arctic night. The very existence of this poignant play pregnantly indicates that the old order is changing and must soon give place to the new.—The ...
— The Turn of the Road - A Play in Two Scenes and an Epilogue • Rutherford Mayne

... the popular songs of America he liked Marching Through Georgia and Dixie best. For Home, Sweet Home he had no liking, perhaps from having heard it during some moment of poignant homesickness. He said that such a song made too brutal an assault upon a man's tenderest feelings, and believed it to be a much greater triumph for a writer to bring a smile to his readers than a tear—partly, perhaps, because it ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... reproached myself for having given that sudden shock and poignant anguish to Her Highness, but I could not have supposed that one who came so barefacedly to impress me with the Cardinal's innocence, could have been less firm in refuting her ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 5 • Madame du Hausset, and of an Unknown English Girl and the Princess Lamballe

... superiors. I am, in fact, the lineal descendant of Sir Mungo Malagrowther, who makes a figure in the Fortunes of Nigel, and have retained a reasonable proportion of his ill-luck, and, in consequence, of his ill-temper. If, therefore, I should chance to appear too warm and poignant in my observations, you must impute it to the hasty and peevish humour which I derive from my ancestor. But, at the same time, it often happens that this disposition leads me to speak useful, though unpleasant truths, when more prudent men ...
— Political Pamphlets • George Saintsbury

... Unfortunately, I indulged in expenses far above my means, owing to my unwillingness to seem poorer than my new friends. I sold or pledged everything I possessed, and I contracted debts which I could not possibly pay. This state of things caused my first sorrows, and they are the most poignant sorrows under which a young man can smart. Not knowing which way to turn, I wrote to my excellent grandmother, begging her assistance, but instead of sending me some money, she came to Padua on the 1st of October, 1739, and, after thanking the doctor and Bettina for all their affectionate ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... stood hesitating, startled by that appeal, angered almost by his heart's response to it, reason and sentiment at grips in his soul. This was not real, his reason postulated; this poignant emotion that she displayed and that he experienced was fantastic. Yet he went. Her arms enfolded him; her wet cheek was pressed hard against his own; her frame, which the years had not yet succeeded in robbing of its grace, was shaken by the ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... unkempt woman with a seamed, leathery face and hard eyes now quite faded to gray, she told Billy Louise a good deal of the bitterness of the years behind; years of hardship and of slavish toil and no love to lighten it. She spoke again of Minervy, and the name brought back to Billy Louise poignant memories of her own lonely childhood and of ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... where the student of mixed character might shine with something of the old supremacy of George Conway's inn at Ballymahon. And there must have been quieter and more chastened resting-places of memory, when, softening towards the home of his youth, with a sadness made more poignant by the death of his brother Henry in May, 1768, he planned and perfected his new poem of ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith • Oliver Goldsmith

... done in cold blood, what excesses, what disasters must we not expect of the last convulsions of their rage? Our anguish is all the more poignant in that they are at this moment fighting in the most ancient and most precious portion of Flanders. Above all countries, this is historic and hallowed land. They have destroyed Termonde, Roulers, Charleroi, Mons, Namur, Thielt and more besides; happy, charming little towns, which will rise again ...
— The Wrack of the Storm • Maurice Maeterlinck

... poignant pain Will wear away 'neath hail and rain, And rush of winds through branches bare With something still to ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 3 (of 4) • Various

... have sufficed to show that Ina Klosking's heart was all benumbed and deadened; and, with the help of insult, treachery, loss of blood, brain-fever, and self-esteem rebelling against villainy, had outlived its power of suffering poignant torture. ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... sheets of dry dust at the train. She gathered at once what tremendous factors in the Southwest were the sun and the dust and the wind. And her realization made her love them. It was there; the open, the wild, the beautiful, the lonely land; and she felt the poignant call of blood in her—to seek, to strive, to find, to live. One look down that yellow valley, endless between its dark iron ramparts, had given her understanding of her uncle. She must be like him in spirit, as it was claimed she ...
— The Man of the Forest • Zane Grey

... and uncomplicated, and Dr. Laidlaw, as sole executor and residuary legatee, had no difficulty in settling it up. A month after the funeral he was sitting alone in his upstairs library, the last sad duties completed, and his mind full of poignant memories and regrets for the loss of a friend he had revered and loved, and to whom his debt was so incalculably great. The last two years, indeed, had been for him terrible. To watch the swift decay of the greatest combination ...
— Four Weird Tales • Algernon Blackwood

... Mimi had been under the same roof, a prey to the deepest anxiety. The poignant grief which she had felt for the loss of her father had been alleviated for a time by the escape of Claude; but now, since his arrest, and the arrival of the dreaded Cazeneau, it seemed worse than ever; ...
— The Lily and the Cross - A Tale of Acadia • James De Mille

... death, dull and oppressive, came to him. This fear quickly became poignant as he realized that it was no longer a mere matter of freezing his fingers and toes, or of losing his hands and feet, but that it was a matter of life and death with the chances against him. This threw him into a panic, and he turned and ran up the creek-bed along the old, dim trail. The dog ...
— Lost Face • Jack London

... on old Jim's knee, however, he leaned in confidence against him, and sighed with a sweet little sound of contentment, as poignant to reinspire a certain ecstasy of sadness in the miner's breast as it was to excite an envy in the ...
— Bruvver Jim's Baby • Philip Verrill Mighels

... reputation that hampered him now just when he needed the confidence of his fellows in order to save their beloved Flying U from slow annihilation. Perhaps his mental suffering could not rightly be called remorse, but a poignant regret it most certainly was, and a sense of complete bafflement which came out ...
— The Flying U's Last Stand • B. M. Bower

... to myself: She has found another issue. She wants to forget now. And no wonder. She wants to persuade herself that she had never known such an ugly and poignant minute in her life. "After all," I conceded aloud, "things are not always what ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... in my power to sustain my sister under her sorrow, which is, and long will be, bitter and poignant. We did not love him as a brother merely, but as a man of original mind, and an honour to all about him. Oh! dear friend, forgive me for talking thus. We have had no tidings of Coleridge. I tremble for the moment when ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... though not in the same degree as with Mildred, for here the truth is with us—Pompilia is a living soul, not a puppet of the theatre. Yet even here the same strange errors recur. She has words indeed that reach the inmost heart—poignant, overpowering in tenderness and pathos; but she has, also, words that cause the brows to draw together, the mind to pause uneasily, then to cry "Not so!" Of such is the analysis of her own blank ignorance with regard to the marriage-state. This, wholly ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... bonhour que je n'aie aucun enfant pour recueillir mon horrible heritage et qui soit charge du poids de mon nom!"— [Footnote Extract from the poignant letter to his wife written on this night.—See ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... is hard to get any exact figures yet. After the shooting was over, other civilians were brought out and compelled to bury the dead. My informant says that some of the scenes attending this duty were quite as poignant as the shooting itself, for some buried their own fathers and brothers. One man about to be thrown into the trench was found to be still alive, but the German doctor, after a cursory examination, ordered him buried with the rest. The man had enough ...
— A Journal From Our Legation in Belgium • Hugh Gibson

... the world, its real god, the divinity in which we live, move and have our being, is the great truth, the gospel of International Socialism, the greatest of all movements, the movement which carries the only rational hope for the freeing of mankind from all its unnecessary suffering—and the most poignant sufferings, those imposed by the great trinity of evils: (war, poverty and slavery) are ...
— Communism and Christianism - Analyzed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View • William Montgomery Brown

... shall feel very awkward," sighed poor Mr Neeld. He might have added that he did feel a sudden and poignant pang of disappointment. Lived there the man who would not have liked to carry that bit of news in his portmanteau when he went out of town? At least that man ...
— Tristram of Blent - An Episode in the Story of an Ancient House • Anthony Hope

... days I have been feeling the charm of a country lying in autumn sweetness. This peace was troubled yesterday by the poignant sight of a burning village. It is not the first we have seen, and yet we have not grown used ...
— Letters of a Soldier - 1914-1915 • Anonymous

... officer's face did not lighten, and very soon he turned again to the sea. The time will come, of course, when the tragedy of his mutilation will be less fresh and poignant, when the Order of Leopold on his breast will help to compensate for many things; but that sunny morning, on the deck of the hospital ship, it held small ...
— Kings, Queens And Pawns - An American Woman at the Front • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... into Mr. Cabell's province. For he has joined many graceful words in delectable and poignant proof of just that lamentable tendency of man to make a mess of even his most immaculate conceivings. When he wrote Chivalry, Mr. Cabell was yet young enough to view the code less with the appraising eye of a pawnbroker than with the ardent eye of an amateur. He knew its value, but he did ...
— Chivalry • James Branch Cabell

... The physician had said that Elvira would not live another day, and the mother sat down to the sad task of writing the mournful news to her soldier son. Meanwhile beyond the Rappahannock, a scene was on the eve of being enacted, which was destined to inflict upon her a pain as poignant as that she was, now ...
— Sword and Pen - Ventures and Adventures of Willard Glazier • John Algernon Owens

... man, from every external point of view, seemed amongst the chosen ones of the world. The contrast was in itself amazing. And then the woman! Francis looked at her but seldom, and when he did it was with a curious sense of mental disturbance; poignant ...
— The Evil Shepherd • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... to crying, too, and he comforted me, stroking my back and kissing me all over my face with his quivering lips. Even now, more than twenty years after his death, when I think of my poor father, dumb sobs rise into my throat, and my heart beats as hotly and bitterly and aches with as poignant a pity as if it had long to go on beating, as if there were ...
— The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... life, he was perfectly able to do so—and he remained thirty years in the deserts. When he came to civilized society, he declared that the rude existence which he described had a secret charm for him which he was unable to define: he returned to it again and again: at length he abandoned it with poignant regret; and when he was at length fixed among the whites, several of his children refused to share his tranquil and easy situation. I saw Tanner myself at the lower end of Lake Superior; he seemed ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... that because I am choosing my words nicely, and playing with metaphor, and putting my commas in their proper places, my sorrow is not really and truly poignant. I write elaborately, for that is my habit, and habits are less easily broken than hearts. I could no more 'dash off' this my cri de coeur than I could an elegy on a broomstick I had never seen. Therefore, reader, bear ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... greater difficulty in actually seeing the Superman, who is now about fifteen years old, and is kept by himself in a quiet room. Even my conversation with the father and mother did not quite clear up the character of this mysterious being. Lady Hypatia, who has a pale and poignant face, and is clad in those impalpable and pathetic greys and greens with which she has brightened so many homes in Hoxton, did not appear to talk of her offspring with any of the vulgar vanity of an ordinary human mother. ...
— Alarms and Discursions • G. K. Chesterton

... goes, upon the chivalrous. But that which makes him more conspicuously amiable and interesting is that while he takes the most ardent and active concern in the happiness of mankind, he is himself reduced by the wickedness of others to a state of misery almost of distraction, which awakens the most poignant sympathy for his situation. Deserted, as he imagines, by the object of his dearest affections, Rosalie Summers, who is supposed to have eloped with a villain of high rank of the name of Plastic, he goes to London and ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Volume I, Number 1 • Stephen Cullen Carpenter

... head. As he listened to Javert, the first thought which occurred to him was to go, to run and denounce himself, to take that Champmathieu out of prison and place himself there; this was as painful and as poignant as an incision in the living flesh. Then it passed away, and he said to himself, "We will see! We will see!" He repressed this first, generous ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... whistle had faded into the phantom of music and then into silence far up under the maples of Lover's Lane Anne stood under the willows, tasting the poignant sweetness of life when some great dread has been removed from it. The morning was a cup filled with mist and glamor. In the corner near her was a rich surprise of new-blown, crystal-dewed roses. ...
— Anne Of The Island • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... numerous for recapitulation, since there were few families of note in Scotland which did not lose one relative or another, whilst some houses had to weep the death of all. It is from this cause that the sensations of sorrow and national lamentation occasioned by the defeat were peculiarly poignant and lasting—so that to this day few Scotsmen can hear the name of Flodden without a shudder of ...
— Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems • W.E. Aytoun

... Almost is rapture poignant; somewhat ails The heart and mocks the morning; somewhat sighs, And those sweet foreigners, the nightingales, Made restless with their love, pay down its price, Even the pain; then all the story unfold Over and over again—yet 't is ...
— Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Jean Ingelow

... upon hearing the captain's words. They brought a too vivid picture of the great capital, six miles under their feet, and a too poignant recollection of the disastrous escape of the royal family from ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... of fifty, well made, and supremely well dressed. He was tanned as befits a sportsman; on his face the absence of furrows created by the absence of thought was made up for by the fine wrinkles induced by poignant and continued anxiety about his material comforts. In his figure the vigor of the athlete contended with the comfortable stoutness of the epicure. He had left a discussion in which all his highest faculties had been roused, a discussion ...
— Ladies Must Live • Alice Duer Miller

... Abdicator was the wife of one of the most dissolute of the Grand-Dukes, whose abuses of manhood no ingenuity of his proud wife was able to conceal. Hence Nathalie, herself so intimately acquainted with this poignant form of suffering, was just now very full of her friendship with the beautiful Princess; and she poured into Ivan's half-listening ears all that she knew of this exquisite woman, married at seventeen, left alone in her cold and unapproachable ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... odour hung heavy in the room. Three or four women (much better gowned than Eleanor) and a dozen men applauded from the drawing-room; a strange-looking youth with a shock of auburn hair drew from a violin sounds which it required no knowledge of technique to feel extraordinarily poignant and moving. All but the dancer were smoking, and Molly sat on the floor (in copper-coloured chiffon, too!) her hands clasped about her knees, a cigarette in an amber holder between her lips and ...
— The Strange Cases of Dr. Stanchon • Josephine Daskam Bacon

... back now on that day I find the memory of my suffering has dimmed slightly. The passage of weeks and months has served to soften the harsh outlines of poignant recollection. What now in retrospect most impresses me is the heroism I displayed, the stark fortitude, the grandeur of will power, the triumph for character. Sheer gallantry, ...
— One Third Off • Irvin S. Cobb

... the Impromptu began or ended. She sat in the sofa corner reading Robert's letter by the fading light. Mademoiselle had glided from the Chopin into the quivering love notes of Isolde's song, and back again to the Impromptu with its soulful and poignant longing. ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... despoiled of his wealth by Candaules. In all his amorous reveries he had never until then thought of the husband; he had thought of the queen only as of a pure abstraction, without representing to himself in fancy all those intimate details of conjugal familiarity, so poignant, so bitter for those who love a woman in the power of another. Now he had beheld Nyssia's blond head bending like a blossom beside the dark head of Candaules. The very thought of it had inflamed his anger to ...
— King Candaules • Theophile Gautier

... fiendishness of their cruel savagery was the poignant memory of still crueler barbarities practiced upon them and theirs by the white officers of that arch hypocrite, Leopold II of Belgium, because of whose atrocities they had fled the Congo Free State—a pitiful remnant of what once had been ...
— Tarzan of the Apes • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... of their son's death, as may well be imagined, was received by Sir Alexander and Lady Moncton with the most poignant grief; and six years elapsed before she and her ...
— The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I • Susanna Moodie

... him we saw poured forth the reality of the thing we had professed to believe in ... He took us to whom religion was a profession, and made it a passion." Christ Church people find these words set up poignant echoes of a day when they sat before Frank Nelson and heard the living ...
— Frank H. Nelson of Cincinnati • Warren C. Herrick

... distrustfulness in Mitya, such lack of confidence even to him, to Alyosha—all this suddenly opened before Alyosha an unsuspected depth of hopeless grief and despair in the soul of his unhappy brother. Intense, infinite compassion overwhelmed him instantly. There was a poignant ache in his torn heart. "Love Ivan!"—he suddenly recalled Mitya's words. And he was going to Ivan. He badly wanted to see Ivan all day. He was as much worried about Ivan as about Mitya, and ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... difference in Jacqueline's voice since she had heard it last in that Song of the Hill; clear and expressionless, then, as a boy's; so throbbing now, so poignant with understanding, that the mother's eyes filled with tears. Jemima's, too, were a little moist, and she blinked them hard, and steeled herself to say to Jacqueline that day what she had ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... the very innermost recesses of his mind. Crane and Dunark scarcely breathed as the three-dimensional picture in the visualizer varied from a blank to the hazy outlines of a giant space-cruiser. It faded out as the unknown exerted himself to withstand that poignant inquisition, only to come back in, clearer than before, as Seaton advanced the potentiometer still farther. Finally, flesh and blood could no longer resist that lethal probe and the picture became sharp and clear. It ...
— Skylark Three • Edward Elmer Smith

... is. He came in a big grey car and was sitting on the doorstep when Aunt got up. He told her not to disturb you, but of course Aunt thought that you ought to know at once and when she found that you were gone"—a poignant pause! ...
— Up the Hill and Over • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... events which even my approaching departure from Cumberland would be powerless to snap asunder—the doubt whether we any of us saw the end as the end would really be—gathered more and more darkly over my mind. Poignant as it was, the sense of suffering caused by the miserable end of my brief, presumptuous love seemed to be blunted and deadened by the still stronger sense of something obscurely impending, something invisibly threatening, that Time was ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... a reproved school boy. What made it worse was that he was beginning to feel that there was no justification for his rage against her. As in the present case, he had been the aggressor and deserved all the scorn she had heaped upon him. But the rage was with him, nevertheless, perhaps the more poignant because he felt its impotency. He looked around at Dade. That young man was trying to appear unconscious of the embarrassing predicament of his fellow workman. He endeavored to lighten the load ...
— The Boss of the Lazy Y • Charles Alden Seltzer

... "How doubly poignant is my smart, Bereaved of my Cen'lin's heart! Exil'd from that deluded breast, Where I had fondly hop'd to rest, With faith undoubting, sweet repose, Till Death should bid my eye-lids close. And sometimes yet will hope arise; Till now he ...
— Elegies and Other Small Poems • Matilda Betham

... be charmed to meet again a man who, whatever might be his errors in youth, on which," added Alain, slightly colouring, "it certainly does not become me to be severe, must have suffered the most poignant anguish a man of honour can undergo,—namely, honour suspected; and who now, whether by years or sorrow, is so changed that I cannot recognize a likeness to the character I have just heard given to him ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... embarrassment drenched him. He could not escape her tender hands without actual force and his poignant shyness made that impossible. She was like a fairy tale, a creature of dreams. He dared not meet her frank pitiful eyes, though he was intensely aware of them. The odor of violets brings to him even to this day a vision of girlish charm and daintiness, together with a memory ...
— The Vision Spendid • William MacLeod Raine

... well-looking, dressed as an Oriental, but with an affected, jerking air, more French than Syrian, moved jauntily about the room, speaking to several persons for a short time, shrugging his shoulders and uttering commonplaces as if they were poignant originalities. This was Hillel Besso, the eldest son of the Besso of Aleppo, and the intended husband of Eva. Hillel, too, had seen the world, passed a season at Pera, where he had worn the Frank dress, and, introduced into the circles by the lady of the Austrian Internuncio, had ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... ethical twist—twist in more senses than one, some would say, but that does not matter. Manners, morals, motives—these three could not but displace, to some extent, mere incident: though there was generally incident of a poignant or piquant kind as well. In other words the novella was actually (though still in miniature) a novel in nature as well as in name. And these novelle became, as is generally known, common in ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... wind up &c (strengthen) 159. strike home, into home, hard home; make an impression. Adj. strong, energetic, forcible, active; intense, deep-dyed, severe, keen, vivid, sharp, acute, incisive, trenchant, brisk. rousing, irritation; poignant; virulent, caustic, corrosive, mordant, harsh, stringent; double-edged, double-shotted^, double- distilled; drastic, escharotic^; racy &c (pungent) 392. potent &c (powerful) 157; radioactive. Adv. strongly &c adj.; fortiter in re [Lat.]; with telling ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... the names of the witnesses, we have said why, but the reader will easily recognize the sincere and poignant ...
— Napoleon the Little • Victor Hugo

... we have discovered in artistic expression has been that of delightful and orderly sympathetic vision. This is supplemented from still another source of value. Through artistic expression pent-up emotions find a welcome release. No matter how poignant be the experience expressed, the weight, the sting of it disappears through expression. For through expression, as we have seen, the experience is drawn from the dark depths of the self to the clear and orderly surface of the ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... vanes outside creaked their message to my ears. I remembered whole days that I had spent, whole books that I had read, here in this favorite fastness of my boyhood. The dirty little place, with the dormer window in each of its four sloping sides, became a gallery hung with poignant pictures of the past. And here was I leaving it with my life in my hands and my pockets full of stolen jewels! A superstition seized me. Suppose the conductor came down with me ... suppose I slipped ... and was picked up dead, with the ...
— A Thief in the Night • E. W. Hornung

... most poignant of all in the bitterness of this lesson that she had learnt, was her understanding of the place she held in the eyes of such men as Devenish. With those who knew of her life, no friendship was possible. One relationship, one only could exist—a relationship, at the thought of which her whole ...
— Sally Bishop - A Romance • E. Temple Thurston

... seemed asleep. The conies crying from their runways suddenly took on poignant pathos. They appeared to be grieving with her; but ...
— The Forester's Daughter - A Romance of the Bear-Tooth Range • Hamlin Garland

... probably no more graphic and poignant study of the way in which man loses his grip on life, lets his pride, his courage, his self-respect slip from him, and, finally, even ceases to struggle in the mire that has engulfed him. * * * There is more tonic value in Sister Carrie than in ...
— Aladdin & Co. - A Romance of Yankee Magic • Herbert Quick

... absolute madness; Mrs. Morriston's face grew black at the very thought of it. She soon got my father on to her side, and between them I had a hateful time of it. It's the old story, which will be told as long as there are worldly, selfish women on the earth, but it was none the less fresh and poignant to me who had to live ...
— The Hunt Ball Mystery • Magnay, William

... mademoiselle, mademoiselle!" said Maxime de Cliche slowly, impressively, in a tone of the most respectful but most poignant reproach. ...
— The Reverberator • Henry James

... poignant seconds as he approached. For the first time since her idyl had begun to give a new meaning to existence she perceived that if he renounced her it would be the one thing she couldn't bear. She might have ...
— The Side Of The Angels - A Novel • Basil King

... Police, who had been entrusted with extensive powers; and there was a strong probability of his failing to obtain satisfaction. It was, however, unthinkable that Prescott should escape. Jernyngham's poignant sense of loss and regret for past harshness to his son had merged into an overwhelming desire for vengeance on the man whom he regarded as Cyril's murderer. He was left without an ally; the organized means of justice had signally broken down; but the ...
— Prescott of Saskatchewan • Harold Bindloss

... the most poignant of these experiences, which occurred during the first few months after our landing upon the other side of the Atlantic, was on a Saturday night, when I received an ineradicable impression of the wretchedness of East London, and also saw for the first time the overcrowded ...
— Twenty Years At Hull House • Jane Addams

... so many cabinets full of Dresden china, that it recalled, by the very extremity of the contrast of its bright hideousness, that other ugly, dismal little room, also filled with false gods, of a cheap and very different kind, in which he had had so much poignant happiness. ...
— Love's Shadow • Ada Leverson

... immediately succeeding the fire and the Carringford's poignant trouble, Janice Day had a mental problem to solve which occupied her thoughts a good ...
— Janice Day, The Young Homemaker • Helen Beecher Long

... now that she had found her husband and child, even if it had been admissible for a lieutenant in the British navy to return freed negroes again into slavery, and wound up with bitter lamentations as to his unhappy fate, and expressions of poignant regret that fighting and other desperate means, congenial and easy to his disposition, were not available in the circumstances. After which explosion he subsided, felt ashamed of having thus committed himself, and looked ...
— Black Ivory • R.M. Ballantyne

... Neidlinger's songs does not forbid a dramatic outburst at the proper time, as in the fine mood, "A Leaf;" or the sombre depth of "Night," "Nocturne," and "Solitude;" or yet the sustainedly poignant anguish of "The Pine-tree." Occasionally the accompaniment is developed with elaborateness, as in the bird-flutings of "The Robin," and "Memories," an extremely rich work, with its mellow brook-music and a hint of nightingale ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes

... slender flattened skull beneath the long pointed cap brought before Stephen's mind the image of a hooded reptile. The eyes, too, were reptile-like in glint and gaze. Yet at that instant, humbled and alert in their look, they were lit by one tiny human point, the window of a shrivelled soul, poignant ...
— A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man • James Joyce

... to grieve. Don't repress yourself. It is right that you should mourn over your lost ideals. Nothing on earth brings more poignant grief than that. You will never get them back. Do not expect what is impossible. They were false ideals, none the less beautiful and dear to you for being that, but truly they were distorted. You will see this some time. ...
— The Love Affairs of an Old Maid • Lilian Bell



Words linked to "Poignant" :   affecting, touching, poignance, painful, poignancy, moving



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