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Poise   /pɔɪz/   Listen
Poise

verb
(past & past part. poised; pres. part. poising)
1.
Be motionless, in suspension.
2.
Prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult.  Synonym: brace.
3.
Cause to be balanced or suspended.
4.
Hold or carry in equilibrium.  Synonym: balance.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Poise" Quotes from Famous Books



... small head was thrown back, and in the poise of her slim young body there was a mingling of challenge and appealing self-defence. She looked like some trapped wild ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... and leaving her slow, wide-winged poise in the upper airs, she veered and with swallow-like swiftness darted down on him. "That sounds patronizing and elder-brotherish," she told him. "I've taken on all sorts of cargo that you don't know anything about. In ever so many ways you seem ...
— The Brimming Cup • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... Kyle, and I'll shoot you." In her tones there was none of the hysteria that usually spices feminine threats. She was angry, but her voice was grimly level. She had the poise of one who had learned to depend on her own resolute spirit. But she displayed something more than that. It was recklessness that was bravado. In the eyes of the State chairman, friend of Thornton, and accustomed to a milder form of femininity, it was impudence. Yet her beauty ...
— The Ramrodders - A Novel • Holman Day

... given valuable advice; scarce one who did not know off-hand that there was never a seaport in Bohemia,—as if Shakspeare's world were one which Mercator could have projected; scarce one but was satisfied that his ten finger-tips were a sufficient key to those astronomic wonders of poise and counterpoise, of planetary law and cometary seeming-exception, in his metres; scarce one but thought he could gauge like an ale-firkin that intuition whose edging shallows may have been sounded, but whose abysses, stretching down amid the sunless roots ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 3, No. 16, February, 1859 • Various

... the dividing line between the territories of Switzerland and those of the King of Sardinia passes, was abeam, and the excellent calculations of the sagacious Maso became still more apparent. He had foreseen another shift of wind, as the consequence of all this poise and counterpoise, and he was here met by the true breeze of the night. The last current came out of the gorge of the Valais, sullen, strong, and hoarse, bringing him, however, fairly to windward of his port. The Winkelried was cast in season, and, when the gale struck her ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... were adroitly stuffed into them; nor were letters, arts, and sciences neglected, nor the mundane and social patter, accomplishments, and refinements, including poise, pose, and deportment. ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... to speak again. Minna Eddy suddenly joined in her torrent of vituperation with the dress-maker's. She caught up the soft-soap idea with a peal of laughter more sustained than that of Madame Griggs, for she had a better poise of mentality, and her wrath was untempered with the grief and self-pity of a small, helpless woman who was fitted by nature for ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... which wondrously proportioned the consecutive masses of the Three Brothers; which made El Capitan, now looked back upon against a new background, a new and appropriate creation, a thing of brilliance and beauty instead of bulk, mighty of mass, powerful in shape and poise, yet mysteriously delicate and unreal. As we pass on with rapidly increasing excitement to the supreme climax at the Valley's head, where gather together Glacier Point, Yosemite Falls of unbelievable height and graciousness, ...
— The Book of the National Parks • Robert Sterling Yard

... more questions, but left the influence of the hour to work. It was a moment of delicate poise, and Rolf knew a touch would open the door or double bar it. He wondered how he might give that touch as he wished it. Skookum still slept. Both men watched the mouse, as, with quick movements it crept about. Presently it approached ...
— Rolf In The Woods • Ernest Thompson Seton

... moved away. She busied herself with some flowers, her back turned. The tension had been relieved, and she wanted to give him time to recover his poise. She knew him well enough to be sure that, sooner or later, the resiliency of his nature would assert itself. He could never remain long ...
— The Little Warrior - (U.K. Title: Jill the Reckless) • P. G. Wodehouse

... girl leaned forward, her eyes fastened upon a drawing she held in her lap. One could see only vague outlines. The light danced over the figure of the girl, her bright, reddish-gold hair, cut short and held in place with an amber comb, her slender shoulders, the unconsciously graceful poise of ...
— The Girl Scouts in Beechwood Forest • Margaret Vandercook

... drawing-room was a battlefield of conflicting emotions this evening. Just for a moment she had been shaken out of her usual poise, had spoken warmly, as a normal woman might have done; yet both Iris who loved her, and Anstice who had studied her, knew that this warmer manner, this apparent freedom of speech, was in reality the outward sign of some inward disturbance; and both guessed, vaguely, that ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... knew him as one may know a brother. There was in her manner some subtle understanding of his mood. Her master saw it in the poise of her head, in the shift of her ears, and in her tender way of feeling for his hand. She, too, was looking right and left in the fields. There were the scenes of a boyhood, newly but forever gone. "That's where you overtook me on the way to ...
— Darrel of the Blessed Isles • Irving Bacheller

... otherwise, from weariness. Deleah, her face the colour of a wild rose, her loose dark hair curling crisply in the frosty air, shouted greetings to her mother as she flew past, a little erect, graceful figure keeping her elegant poise with the ease of the young and fearless. Now and again she was seen to be fleeing, laughing as she went, from the pursuit of a skater who wished to make a circuit of the flooded meadow holding Deleah's hand. The girl was at once a romp and shy. She ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... is practised in Leaplow. There, the supposition of legitimacy is as much in favor of the youngest as of the oldest born, and the practice is in conformity. As there is no hereditary chief to poise on one of the legs of the great tripod, the people at the foot of the beam choose one from among themselves, periodically, who is called the Great Sachem. The same people choose another set, few in number, who occupy a common seat, on another leg. These ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... the fact that it was some time before she noticed that the phrase, still ringing in her ears, was in the optative, not in the simple future which she herself would have used in that connection. Was her father keeping things back from her, by way of helping her to maintain her poise? Did Reed himself know things of which she was in ignorance? Foolish, especially when they were friends and nothing more! It was a friend's place to know the worst of things, and help him bear them. The questions, though, stayed with her for many days. They had been, indeed, at the back ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... Roman nose, his well-shaped head, his clear, bright eye, and his rosy cheeks flushed with excitement, rendered him an attractive figure among the bright faces and well-dressed figures. His superb physical poise lent a grace to all his movements, while he was self-possessed at the most ...
— The Telegraph Messenger Boy - The Straight Road to Success • Edward S. Ellis

... he can do, and how well he does it; who can value absolute faithfulness and honesty; who confesses a sneaking fondness for the picturesque as nobly exemplified in a clean and starched or brocaded heathen; who understands how to balance the difficult poise, supervision, and interference, the Chinese servant is the best on the continent. But to one who enjoys supervising every step or who likes well-trained ceremony, "good form" in minutiae, and the deference of our kind of good ...
— The Killer • Stewart Edward White

... reputation—something unsavoury enough, in all conscience!— had seen him only once, and then from a distance, before that conference in the rue Chaptal. And now he was becoming sensitive to a personality uncommonly insinuating: Wertheimer was displaying all the poise of an Englishman of the better caste More than anybody in the underworld that Lanyard had ever known this blackmailer had an air of one acquainted with his own respect. And his nonchalance, the good ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... towards the sea, and for another moment stood silent. Lady Florimel glanced up, but Malcolm was unaware of her movement. He lifted his hand, and looked at the half crown gleaming on his palm; then, with a sudden poise of his body, and a sudden fierce action of his arm, he sent the coin, swift with his heart's repudiation, across the sands into the tide. Ere it struck the water he had turned, and, with long stride but low bent head, walked ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... first direct appeal to her compassion, and for a moment it nearly unsettled the delicate poise of her sympathies, and sent them trembling in the direction of scorn and irony. Buteven as the impulse rose, it was stayed by another sensation. Once again, as so often in the past, she became aware of a fact which, in his absence, she always failed ...
— Tales Of Men And Ghosts • Edith Wharton

... ground. Now Tsil-lattu her black wings spreads o'er all, Dark shrouding all the forest with her pall, And from his steed for safety each dismounts, And o'er their heads now break the ebon founts. But hark! what is that dreadful roaring noise? The dragons come! Their flaming crests they poise Above, and nearer blaze their eyes of fire, And see! upon them rush the ...
— Babylonian and Assyrian Literature • Anonymous

... her now in this new way, he was also able to see that she herself was changed. She figured definitely as an actor now with an odd white intensity in her face, with some mysterious purpose in her eyes, with a resolve in the whole poise of her body that seemed ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... rail so fiercely his fingers seemed white and bloodless. It was apparent some stern emotion wrestled him; the profile I saw was set like chiseled marble. There was something indescribably menacing in his poise. The sight of him jolted my ears open to the noises of ...
— The Blood Ship • Norman Springer

... a kind of befuddled astonishment. "You mean she really is a—" He stopped and brought his tenor voice to a squeaking halt, regained his professional poise, and began again. "I'd rather not discuss the patient in her presence, Mr. Malone," he said. "If you'll just ...
— That Sweet Little Old Lady • Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA Mark Phillips)

... large, not a good shape either, and some people—who do not like me—say that they can easily detect a hard, cold expression which does not please them. But my profile is good in spite of my ill-featured mouth, and there is—generally acknowledged—a certain high-born, well-bred look about the poise of my shapely head which gains for me more than a mere passing notice. My manners are pronounced "charming," and by many—those who like me—charmingly faultless. So, after all, in spite of this lack of a positive style of beauty, I am what might be termed a "social success." But it is a ...
— The Inner Sisterhood - A Social Study in High Colors • Douglass Sherley et al.

... poor, but high-bred, Oh, women of fashion far above you! And I thrilled at the graceful poise of her head And the radiant smile of my love when she said, "Why James, you know that I love you." Nymph-like her lithe form swayed as in dance, I awkwardly sat at the reel— A moment's surcease of monotonous thrum,— Melodious the lull in the song and the hum ...
— The Loom of Life • Cotton Noe

... Protestant labors of Frederick Spanheim (Historia Imaginum restituta) and James Basnage (Hist. des Eglises Reformees, tom. ii. l. xxiiii. p. 1339-1385) are cast into the Iconoclast scale. With this mutual aid, and opposite tendency, it is easy for us to poise the balance with philosophic indifference. * Note: Compare Schlosser, Geschichte der Bilder-sturmender Kaiser, Frankfurt am-Main 1812 a book ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... as Acting Lieutenant of the troop at camp, and who still held that office. It was Florence that introduced herself to Marjorie. Neither bold nor shy, with a little more than the ordinary amount of good looks, she seemed unconsciously to possess the poise of ...
— The Girl Scouts' Good Turn • Edith Lavell

... even a one-eyed and one-legged man ought to be able to do something for his country politically, it suddenly seemed to me—and what a glorious picture to gaze at!—If I could some day go into Parliament, and have Alathea beside me, to give me inspiration and help me to the best in myself. How her poise would tell in English political society! How her brain and her power of exercising her critical faculties! Apart from the fact that I love every inch of her wisp of a body—What an asset that mind would ...
— Man and Maid • Elinor Glyn

... laughter at his overflowing fun, or give us a piquant sensation of surprise by the ingenuity of his transitions from the lofty to the ludicrous. This last power is not, indeed, essentially poetical; but only a poet can use it with the same success as Heine, for only a poet can poise our emotion and expectation at such a height as to give effect to the sudden fall. Heine's greatest power as a poet lies in his simple pathos, in the ever-varied but always natural expression he has given to the tender emotions. We may perhaps indicate this phase ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... have hesitated to require her niece's return home had not maternal solicitude urged her to deprive her of nothing which could aid her troubled soul to regain its poise. If possible at all, it would be through devotion to an arduous work of charity that she would understand her own nature, and find an answer to the question whether, when the slanderers were silenced, she would take the ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... whose resistless hand First seized a ship on that contested strand; The same which dead Protesilaus bore,(242) The first that touch'd the unhappy Trojan shore: For this in arms the warring nations stood, And bathed their generous breasts with mutual blood. No room to poise the lance or bend the bow; But hand to hand, and man to man, they grow: Wounded, they wound; and seek each other's hearts With falchions, axes, swords, and shorten'd darts. The falchions ring, shields rattle, axes sound, Swords flash in ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer

... approached Cleggett. There was hesitation in the brown old man's feet, there was doubt upon his wrinkled brow, but there was the consciousness of duty in the poise of his shoulders, there was determination in ...
— The Cruise of the Jasper B. • Don Marquis

... inexperienced observer, it was not that of two happy young people, entering a sunny stretch of life, but of a boy and girl confronted with some stern and very present problem. Connie's hands were clasped too tightly, there was a sense of strain in the poise of her head. Her companion's pose was ...
— The Spanish Chest • Edna A. Brown

... watching his wife, who guided her animal over the invisible trail until she was beside him on the hard earth. It required no little skill on her part, for when she withdrew her foot from her stirrup, and was obliged not only to hold her own poise, but to take care of Dot, her task became delicate and difficult. But the little one behaved like a heroine. She did not speak or stir, through fear of disturbing her parent, and was as relieved as both when the current ...
— The Young Ranchers - or Fighting the Sioux • Edward S. Ellis

... balance thine, Thine the poise and measure? If I say, 'Thou shalt be Mine,' Finger not My treasure. What the gains in having thee Do amount to, only He Who for man was sold can see; That ...
— Book of English Verse • Bulchevy

... feet, the Doctor stood staring wildly from Stanton's amazed face to the perfectly calm, perfectly accustomed air of poise that characterized every movement of the pink-shrouded visitor. The amazement in fact never wavered for a second from Stanton's blush-red visage, nor the supreme serenity from the lady's whole attitude. But across the Doctor's startled features a fearful, outraged ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... put them in the final match against Jim Downer and his sister Helen. A taste of victory had given to Keineth a poise that steadied her in her game; this matching of strength, skill and quickness—something she had never known before—had developed a surprising confidence in herself. Her joy was not in the defeat of their opponents, rather in her own mastery of all those things which for so long ...
— Keineth • Jane D. Abbott

... small degree was the perfect poise of the peerless personage behind the register jarred. But by only one. He was a ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... expressed a primitive emotion; the present slow and measured whirl a discriminating sensation. And slowly, under the spell of Stillman's calm and yet strangely glowing manner, Claire recovered her poise. All night she had been inhaling every fresh delight rapturously with the closed eyes and open senses that one brings to the enjoyment of blossoms heavy with perfume. It took Stillman's influence to rob the hours of their swooning ...
— The Blood Red Dawn • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... grunts and snorts attesting the ferocity of their efforts. Then the hind foot of the younger bull slipped a little. With a convulsive wrench he recovered his footing; and again the struggle hung at poise. But it was only for a few moments. Suddenly, as if he had felt his opportunity approach, the white bull threw all his strength into a mightier thrust. The legs of his adversary seemed to crumple up like paper ...
— The House in the Water - A Book of Animal Stories • Charles G. D. Roberts

... made the same impression of remarkable beauty and cosmopolitan culture as at first. There was a refined, easy poise in her bearing. Indeed he almost fancied that, to her mind, coming to Charleston was a sort of condescension, she had visited so many famous cities in the world. She greeted him cordially, and to a vain man her brilliant eyes would have expressed more than the mere pleasure of seeing ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... comes over us in church. It is not something that the preacher has in his voice. It is not in nature, or in poetry, or in music—though in all these there is soothing. It is the mind at leisure from itself. It is the perfect poise of the soul; the absolute adjustment of the inward man to the stress of all outward things; the preparedness against every emergency; the stability of assured convictions; the eternal calm of an invulnerable faith; the repose of a heart set deep in God. It is the ...
— Addresses • Henry Drummond

... stood rather under than over the medium height of woman,—yet she gave the impression of being taller than she actually was, owing to the graceful curve of her arched neck, which rose from her shoulders with a daintily-proud poise, marking her demeanour as exceptional and altogether different to that of ordinary women. Her back being turned to Mrs. Spruce for the moment, that sagacious dame decided that she was 'real stately, for all that she was ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... struggled from his pew across the sittings of three stout dowagers, and knelt, with practiced finger on the little fluttering pulse. The bride's stepmother roused to solicitous and anxious attention. The organ came smartly up again in a hopeless tangle of chords and modulations, trying to get its poise once more. People climbed upon their seats to see, or crowded out in the aisle curiously and unwisely kind, and in the way. Then the minister asked the congregation to be seated; and amid the rustle of wedding finery into seats suddenly grown too narrow and too ...
— Exit Betty • Grace Livingston Hill

... poise and symmetry was designed in 1829, when Eben B. Morehouse purchased a few acres from the Bowers estate, on the side of Mount Vision, at the point where the old state road made its first turn to ascend the mountain, and there erected the dwelling called Woodside Hall. For ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... agony and bosom-throe, Let it be measured by the wide vast air, For that is infinite, and so is woe, Since parted lovers breathe it everywhere. Look how it heaves Leander's laboring chest, Panting, at poise, upon a ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... nightmare. It pretty nearly pulled all the legs off me, and to this hour I cannot tell you if it is best to put your foot into a footmark—a young pond, I mean—about the size of the bottom of a Madeira work arm-chair, or whether you should poise yourself on the rim of the same, and stride forward to its other bank boldly and hopefully. The footmarks and the places where the elephants had been rolling were by now filled with water, and the mud underneath was in places hard and slippery. In spite of my determination to preserve ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... sure how long he clung there, but his white face and the poise of his strung-up figure impressed themselves indelibly on her memory. Strain was expressed in every line of his body and in his clutching hands. Then the strength and decision that was in her asserted itself, and she overcame the numbing horror that ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... the breaking point before; but his alertness was now trebled, and, like a sensitive barometer, he felt the danger of Larry, the brute strength of Jeff, the cunning of Henry, the grave poise of Joe, to say nothing of Scottie—an unknown force. But Scottie was running on in his talk; he was telling of how he met the storekeeper in town; he was naming everything he saw; these fellows seemed ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... sweetness and dignity, and furthermore, the great ballast of old pain and new gladness which lay deep down in her heart, kept her quite steady and unruffled under all such breezes. She had many of the like to meet that day; and the sweet calm and poise of her manner through them all would have done honour to the most practised woman of the world. Most of her friends and neighbours here collected had scarce seen her since her marriage, unless in church; ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... haste, half-sister to delay," for long since she acquired the habit of serene mastery. She meets her manifold responsibilities with a smile and sings her way through them all. If clouds arise, she banishes them with the magic of her poise and amiability. She can say with Napoleon, "I do not permit myself to become a victim of circumstances; I make circumstances." Back in the school she learned order, system, method, and acquired the sense of responsibility. At first the teacher's desk was her special care, and by easy ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... if possible to break down her reserve and let in the garish light, which he knew to be most fatal to all romantic fancies, that ever thrive best in the twilight of secrecy. But she was on the alert now, and in relief of mind had regained her poise and the power to mask her feeling. So she said in a tone tinged with cold indifference, "You may be right, but I had good reason to believe to the contrary, and, as I am not altogether without a conscience, you might have saved ...
— Barriers Burned Away • E. P. Roe

... degree.] Equality — N. equality, parity, coextension^, symmetry, balance, poise; evenness, monotony, level. equivalence; equipollence^, equipoise, equilibrium, equiponderance^; par, quits, a wash; not a pin to choose; distinction without a difference, six of one and half a dozen of the other; tweedle ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... is not over-looking. The Saxon grapples with the Celt, and the Norman forces the twain to do what the one would not dream of doing and what the other would dream beyond and never do. Do you catch me? Her most salient charm, is I think, her perfect poise, her ...
— The Kempton-Wace Letters • Jack London

... performed the difficult feat, and one which required mutual understanding and confidence, of see-sawing away up in air on the plank; first face to face, carefully balancing, and then the latter slowly turned on the space less than twenty inches wide, without disturbing the delicate poise. This he considers one of the most remarkable, because each horse must act with reference to the other, and the understanding between them must be so perfect that no fatal false ...
— Our Boys - Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors • Various

... began thinking of all the things he had read about Burdens. He remembered an uncle of his called Jonas (ridiculous name) who had pointed out that Burdens, especially if borne in youth, strengthen the upper deltoid muscle, expand the chest, and give to the whole figure an erect and graceful poise. He remembered also reading in a book upon "Country Sports" that the bearing of heavy weights is an excellent training for all other forms of exercise, and produces a manly and resolute carriage, ...
— On Nothing & Kindred Subjects • Hilaire Belloc

... strong in all of them, but nature had taken her revenge for the anti-social life of the father. The boys had reverted toward savagery. They were elemental and undisciplined. This was, perhaps, true of Beulah also. There were moments when she suggested in the startled poise of her light body and the flash of her quick eyes a wild young creature of the forest set for night. But in her case atavism manifested itself charmingly in the untamed grace of a rich young personality vital with life. It was an interesting ...
— The Sheriff's Son • William MacLeod Raine

... Eunice her child, having all of Mr. Volrees' features. There were his dark chestnut hair, his large dark eyes, his nose, his lips, his poise and a dark brown stain beneath the left ear which had been a recurrence in the Volrees family for generations. The public was mystified as it was commonly understood that the marital relations had extended no farther than the marriage ceremony. The ...
— The Hindered Hand - or, The Reign of the Repressionist • Sutton E. Griggs

... Henry Adams[19] justly says, "Far more than contemporaries ever supposed, or than is now imagined, the Treaty of Ghent was the special work and the peculiar triumph of Mr. Gallatin." His own correspondence shows how admirably he was constituted for the nice work of diplomatic negotiation. In the self-poise which he maintained in the most critical situations, the unerring sagacity with which he penetrated the purposes of his adversaries, the address with which he soothed the passions and guided the judgments of his colleagues, it is impossible to find a single fault. If he had a fault, says his biographer, ...
— Albert Gallatin - American Statesmen Series, Vol. XIII • John Austin Stevens

... will be of that way of thinking, young woman.—Dick, there's a sort of murderous, viperine suggestion in the poise of the head that I don't ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... apart, and they sheltered under a forehead that was patently the forehead of a thinker. For Ah Chun had his problems, and had had them all his life. Not that he ever worried over them. He was essentially a philosopher, and whether as coolie, or multi-millionaire and master of many men, his poise of soul was the same. He lived always in the high equanimity of spiritual repose, undeterred by good fortune, unruffled by ill fortune. All things went well with him, whether they were blows from the overseer in the cane field or a slump in the price of sugar when ...
— The House of Pride • Jack London

... peculiar to the sperm whale. It receives its designation (pitchpoling) from its being likened to that preliminary up-and-down poise of the whale-lance, in the exercise called pitchpoling, previously described. By this motion the whale must best and most comprehensively view whatever ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... in a big black bow at the cape of her neck. Her vague nose had settled into the forward-raking line that made her the dark likeness of her father. Her body was slender but solid; the strong white neck carried her head high with the poise of a runner. She looked at least seventeen in her clean-cut coat and skirt. Probably she wouldn't look much older ...
— Anne Severn and the Fieldings • May Sinclair

... two parties which prevailed with so much violence when you were here, are almost wholly melted into one. At the late Presidential election I have received one hundred and sixty-two votes against fourteen only. Connecticut is still federal by a small majority; and Delaware on a poise, as she has been since 1775, and will be till Anglomany with her yields to Americanism. Connecticut will be with us in a short time. Though the people in mass have joined us, their leaders had committed themselves too far to retract. Pride keeps them hostile; they brood over their angry passions, ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... over-anxious parent would have felt confident that Bet Baxter could look out for herself under any circumstances. Her straight young body had poise and assurance of power and she had a resourcefulness of mind that made her a ...
— The Merriweather Girls in Quest of Treasure • Lizette M. Edholm

... you can't even now sit still while I speak to you, but you must poise yourself on your chair like a schoolboy. Is it a necessary part of your existence that you must behave like a boy ...
— Fifty-Two Stories For Girls • Various

... one finds the cornstalk in her hand a realistic thing incompatible with any poetic conception, it is well to step back until one gets only the general effect. For there is much to admire in the poise of the figure, in the decorative outline, and in the sculptor's lightness of touch. The fountain was designed by ...
— An Art-Lovers guide to the Exposition • Shelden Cheney

... the upper rail of a seat, looked fixedly into the coals. Stuart sipped at a goblet of water, but his trembling hand caused him to spill its contents upon the floor. No one now ventured to speak except in a whisper; it seemed that a word or a loud noise must disturb the poise of matters. The clock ticked, the blue flames murmured in the grate, and the pellets of sand thrown up by the wind rattled against ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 1 • Various

... lighted on the ground for a moment, resting in its flight. It is really the product of the most elaborate and careful engineering science; the strains and stresses put on every part of the material have been calculated and allowed for. The poise and balance are so minutely exact that it just stands, and no more. But that it should stand at all is the marvel, seeing that it is spanned on frail arches over the abyss of the impossible, the unnatural, ...
— Milton • Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

... whether in speaker or writer is a most effective tone for a large public. It gives them confidence in their man, and prevents tediousness—except to those who reflect how delicate is the poise of truth, and what steeps and pits encompass the dealer in unqualified propositions. To such persons, a writer who is trenchant in every sentence of every page, who never lapses for a line into the contingent, ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Volume I (of 3) - Essay 4: Macaulay • John Morley

... brain there was growing a distinct hope that this beautiful young creature with the dreamy eyes was something more than a mere shopgirl. It had occurred to him in that one brief moment of contact that she had the air, the poise of a ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... strange situation lasted for some minutes. I had no clear vision through my spy-hole, and knew not at the first watching whether the man I saw was asleep or awake. A finer inspection of him, made with a catlike poise as I knelt crouching at the door, showed me that he slept: had fallen to sleep with his fingers amongst the jewels—a great rough dog of a man clutching wealth in his dreaming. And he was, then, one of those ...
— The Iron Pirate - A Plain Tale of Strange Happenings on the Sea • Max Pemberton

... a little. Her fingers were idly tapping the window-sill. Her thoughtful eyes were clouded with trouble. He stood over her, absorbed in the charm of her presence, the sensuous charm of watching her slim, exquisite figure, the poise of her head, the delicate coloring of her cheeks, the tremulous human lips, which seemed somehow to humanize the spirituality of her expression. They had talked so much that day of a new science. Saton felt his heart sink as he realized that he was the victim of a greater thing than science ...
— The Moving Finger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... complete in his nature, more happy in his cause, and more fortunate in the issues of his career. They are taught to see in him a soldier whose sword wrought only mercy and justice for mankind; a statesman who steadied a remarkable generation of public men by his mental poise and exalted them by his singleness of heart; and a ruler whose exercise of power established for the time on earth a righteous government by ...
— Washington's Birthday • Various

... He had wondered what the others felt, and how he would describe it all to his Vicar. Now, little by little, all this ceased, and the peace grew within and without, till the balance of pressure was equalized and his attention floated at the perfect poise. ...
— None Other Gods • Robert Hugh Benson

... no violence could move 525 The stubborn Greeks, or turn their powers to flight. So hung the war in balance, as the scales Held by some woman scrupulously just, A spinner; wool and weight she poises nice, Hard-earning slender pittance for her babes,[5] 530 Such was the poise in which the battle hung Till Jove himself superior fame, at length, To Priameian Hector gave, who sprang First through the wall. In lofty sounds that reach'd Their utmost ranks, he call'd on all his host. 535 Now press them, now ye Trojans steed-renown'd Rush on! break through the Grecian rampart, ...
— The Iliad of Homer - Translated into English Blank Verse • Homer

... dally on my way, turning to the right and the left for beauty and caricature. I will balance on the strict edge of my narrative, as a seventh-heavenward Mahometan with wine-forbidden steadiness of poise treads Al Sert, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... as Maw's au naturel is disposed to adipose—they make a startling adjunct to the mountain scenery. But, bless her heart, Maw doesn't care! She is on her way and on her vacation, the first in all her life. There rest on her soul the content and poise which her own square and self-respecting mind tells her are due her after forty years of labor, including the Lord's Days thereof. I call Maw's vacation her Lord's Day. It ought to be held a sacred thing by all who tour our national parks, where ...
— Maw's Vacation - The Story of a Human Being in the Yellowstone • Emerson Hough

... hand. It was a fat hand. Suavity was come upon it like a new glove and changed the man. He was no longer cringing. Now he had poise, such poise as we in these days are accustomed to see in leather and mahogany offices. The Colonel ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... coat of bottle green, striding through the snow toward the cheer of home. In his outer man, at least, the eighteen months since his marriage had wrought a change. What was striking then was more striking now,—his ease and might of frame, the admirable poise of his head, and the force expressed in every feature, the air of power that was about him like an emanation. The difference was that what had been rude strength was now strength polished and restrained. The deeps might hide abrupt and violent things, but the surface ...
— Lewis Rand • Mary Johnston

... delicate situation, and might easily have been made ludicrous. Denial would have hurt her. As it was, he lifted his hand, a small, exquisite hand it was, with the gentle dignity and poise of a king, and she touched her lips to it with what was certainly adoration. Then, as ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... difference in him. There were days when he was as good-looking as ever, and much of the old fascination remained: but to one who knew him well, as Harding did, there was no doubt that his life had passed its meridian. The day was no longer at poise, but was quietly sinking; and though the skies were full of light, the buoyancy and blitheness that the hours bear in their ascension were missing; lassitude and moodiness ...
— Mike Fletcher - A Novel • George (George Augustus) Moore

... quickly the trick that all trained seals know—that of balancing a ball on the nose. But for a seal that is not much of a feat after the experience of keeping themselves constantly in poise amidst the rolling breakers and surging swells. I taught him to rise on his flippers and march, also to turn to right or left ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... as she waited and smiled, he had suddenly nothing more to say. Judith was so slender and white and still as she stood there. All the outraged dignity of an offended schoolgirl was helping to make this overwhelming little effect of hers, and every trick of poise and carriage that she had acquired in a year, and something else, something that shamed and silenced the boy as no tricks could have done, and made her pathetic little show of injured dignity real. A woman's shy soul was reaching out ...
— The Wishing Moon • Louise Elizabeth Dutton

... from the base of the cliffs to a height of about a hundred feet above them. They turn their heads to the south-west, and hover like hawks, but without any visible movement of their wings. They are followed by two more, who also poise themselves in the same way. Presently all four mount higher, and again face the tempest. They do not appear to defy it, nor even to exert themselves in resisting it. What to us below is fierce opposition is to ...
— Pages from a Journal with Other Papers • Mark Rutherford

... spirit of excitement sparkled in Isabel tonight, and every movement was a separate and conscious pleasure to her: the physical sensation of walking delicately, the ripple of her skirt over her ankles, the poise of her shoulders under their transparent veil. . . . Laura saw a dozen men turn to look after the Wanhope party, and took no credit for it, though not long ago she had been accustomed to be watched when she moved through a public room. But ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... rapidly, in her singularly articulate tones. A reader of voices would have pronounced hers the physical record of unbroken health and constant, joyous poise. ...
— The Desert and The Sown • Mary Hallock Foote

... Judicious and systematic exercise, if moderately employed, soon gives a more upright and symmetrical figure, and an easier and more graceful carriage. Rounded shoulders become square, the awkward gait disappears, and there is seen a graceful poise to the head and a bearing of the body which mark those whose muscles have been well trained. A perfectly formed skeleton and well-developed muscles give the graceful contour and perfect outline to the human body. The lean, soft limbs of those who have ...
— A Practical Physiology • Albert F. Blaisdell

... bush and hedge and tree Joy, unrestrained and free, Breaks forth in melody, Twitter and chirp and song: Alive the festal air With gauze-winged creatures fair, That flicker everywhere, Dart, poise, and flash along. ...
— The Poems of Emma Lazarus - Vol. I (of II.), Narrative, Lyric, and Dramatic • Emma Lazarus

... serious results. The mere fact of class grouping involves a natural competition, healthful and beneficial and wisely preparatory for future living. More emphasis than this upon rivalry may produce feverish and unhealthful conditions, far removed from the mental poise we desire for our girls. The school can give the girl few things finer than the ability to attack work quietly and yet with determination and a sense of power to meet and ...
— Vocational Guidance for Girls • Marguerite Stockman Dickson

... was possessed of that dauntless courage which one sees sometimes in the tamers of lions and other savage beasts; that Alessandro was a mean-spirited creature cowed by his child wife; and that one had but to note the haughty poise of her head and the hang-dog sullenness which he maintained in her presence to guess the truth. Though I abhorred the Duke, yet as he had made me master of the mint it was necessary that I should have commerce with him, and on the first occasion upon which I presented ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... looking at him keenly as he gazed away into nothing through slightly narrowed eyes. Vaguely, his attitude reminded her of a picture she had once seen of the Duke of Wellington; there was the same mastery, the same far vision, the same poise of self-contained power. His nose was not like the Iron Duke's, for young Cunningham's had rather more tolerance in its outline and less of Roman overbearing; but the eyes, and the mouth, and the angle of the jaw were so like Wellesley's as to force ...
— Rung Ho! • Talbot Mundy

... lost sight of to advocate its cause; in fact, he was what would nowadays be called most emphatically a crank on that subject, and might not inappropriately be considered a one-ideaed man lacking in the breadth and poise, so necessary to success in the commander of an army in the field. While Buel's Army was in Louisville getting reinforcements and preparing to renew operations against Bragg, I obtained a few days leave of ...
— Personal recollections and experiences concerning the Battle of Stone River • Milo S. Hascall

... to him. In the noble poise of her head she had seemed strangely far off; now she appeared ...
— The Voice of the People • Ellen Glasgow

... hesitated, and then, from sheer loss of poise, reached out her hand. The dancing eyes of the cavalier lit with all ...
— The Maid of the Whispering Hills • Vingie E. Roe

... beauty, was not one of Miss Wollaston's feminine ideals. It spoke in every line of her figure as well as in the lineaments of her face; in the short, rather broad, yet cleanly defined nose; in the generous width of her mouth; in the sculpturesque poise of her neck upon ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... POISE. The man that can concentrate is well poised. What you must do to be successful today. Concentration that is dangerous. How to make those you come in contact with feel as you do. The man that becomes a power in ...
— The Power of Concentration • Theron Q. Dumont

... slender, graceful spars Poise aloft in the air, And at the mast-head, White, blue, and red, A flag unrolls the stripes and stars. Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless, In foreign harbors shall behold That flag unrolled, 'T will be as a friendly hand Stretched ...
— The Children's Own Longfellow • Henry W. Longfellow

... was saying now with admirable poise, in answer to her question, "I haven't visited your wonderful Golden Gate, but I hope to go there some day—with you!" he added. His words were simple; the accent alone made them sound formidable; it seemed ...
— A Man and His Money • Frederic Stewart Isham

... small in stature, scarcely five and a half feet high at best, with his natural height diminished, as is often the case with sailors, by a slight bending of the back and stooping of the shoulders; yet he possessed a well-knit, vigorous, and not ungraceful figure, whose careless poise, and the ease with which he maintained his position, with his hands clasped behind his back, in spite of the rather heavy roll and pitch of the ship, in the very strong breeze, indicated long familiarity with ...
— For Love of Country - A Story of Land and Sea in the Days of the Revolution • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... she possessed the beauty of perfect health. Her brown cheeks glowed like old gold from the pulsing of rich blood. An athletic poise of her shoulders and carriage of head added ...
— The Way of the Wind • Zoe Anderson Norris

... agility, for as he scrambled about the crags he seemed, she was wont to say, to climb straight out of them. The recollection of all this—the lesser and unspiritual maternal values, perchance, but essential—surged over her with bitterness; she lost her poise, ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... the mockingbird are all theatrical in their manners—full of gestures of tail and wings, and their songs all imply an audience, while the serene melody of the thrushes is in keeping with the grace and poise of their behavior. ...
— Under the Maples • John Burroughs

... a single heart-throb of exultation. He had deliberately gone about to break down her poise, her only barrier of defense, and it began to look ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... lesson that the seeds teach us. Off they go at a touch, at the moment when the inward preparedness and the outward opportunity coalesce. See the tiny corkscrews of the pink geranium in our meadow (a miniature of its blue brother the cranesbill). Look at the poise of them—and then at the sheaf of spears of this bit of grass, holding themselves freer still, and the downy head alongside, equally ready either to hold together or to fly with a breath ... and then look at our lives and see whether ...
— Parables of the Christ-life • I. Lilias Trotter

... the tone of an injured, but haughty man, with perfect intellectual poise and earnestness, yet with a fervor of feeling that brought the speaker erect ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 61, November, 1862 • Various

... those elements of experience upon which imagination builds. For this reason it is rather remarkable that the story, which is omitted from the Montessori system of education, is perhaps the most valuable means of effecting that sense-training, freedom, self-initiated play, repose, poise, and power of reflection, which are foundation stones of ...
— A Study of Fairy Tales • Laura F. Kready

... work, and finally gave up the quest. But this momentary glimpse produced in him a new excitement. He felt sure that he had not been mistaken: he knew the swift, graceful step, the slight form bending in the wind. He fancied that he had even recognized the poise and shape of the little head. He imagined, too, that he had not been unobserved, and that she had some reason for avoiding him. For a week or more he haunted the vicinity of the common, but without result. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... allies;—and Life forlorn, Yet patient, droops, nor breathes repinings vain; But now, Usurper, thou hast madly torn From Summer's hand his stores of angry sway; His rattling thunders with thy winds unite, On thy pale snows those livid lightnings play, That pour their deathful splendors o'er his night, To poise the pleasures of his golden day, Soft gales, ...
— Original sonnets on various subjects; and odes paraphrased from Horace • Anna Seward

... composition. It might be said that Western art, in general, and more particularly the decorative art of India, Persia and Greece—the last coming to Japan through India and with certain Hindu modifications—all aim at symmetry of poise; but that Japanese floral arrangement and decorative art in general have for their fundamental aim a symmetry by suggestion,—a balance, but a balance of inequalities. The ike-bana as conceived and practised ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... blossom, Breezy, abundant, good for human joys; Oriole has touched the burning secret Poppies hide with their deliberate poise. ...
— Behind the Arras - A Book of the Unseen • Bliss Carman

... must admire Rooney with me as he receives, seats, manipulates, and chaffs his guests. He is twenty-nine. He has Wellington's nose, Dante's chin, the cheek-bones of an Iroquois, the smile of Talleyrand, Corbett's foot work, and the poise of an eleven-year-old East Side Central Park Queen of the May. He is assisted by a lieutenant known as Frank, a pudgy, easy chap, swell-dressed, who goes among the tables seeing that dull care does not intrude. Now, what is there about Rooney's to inspire all this pother? It is more respectable ...
— Strictly Business • O. Henry

... colored child has been made in the image of God, her poise should be erect and fearless. Nature bestowed the ...
— The Colored Girl Beautiful • E. Azalia Hackley

... Rex Slinkard had the priceless poise of the true lyric poet, and it was the ordered system in his vision that proved him. He knew the value of his attitudes and he was certain that perfection is imperishable, and strove with a poet's calm intensity ...
— Adventures in the Arts - Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets • Marsden Hartley

... death in Preston-pans. 37. The solemn providence and wonder in my life, my fall under the York coach in August 1654, when the great wheel went over my leg, so as I could feel it passing me without hurting, far less breaking my leg, as if it had been thus carried over in a just poise, to let me see how providence watched over me, &c. 38. The comfort God gave me in my children, and those extraordinary confirmations I got from God upon the death of those sweet children whom God removed from me ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... her. "Oh, no, you don't!" he said kindly. "But I see plainly that you're a self-willed young person. Association with me, and the study of my poise, will do a lot for you. By the way, you have only thirty ...
— The Girl in the Mirror • Elizabeth Garver Jordan

... they had given Mrs. Hilary so much time to recover her poise that she could join in, and say that Anglo-Catholics were very ostentatious people, and only gave all that money which they had, undoubtedly, given at the recent Congress in order to make a ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... fashionable Misses Cabot's school, not at all ashamed to say she could not afford this or that, simple and unaffected but self-respecting and proud; a girl who was at all times herself and retained her poise and common sense even in the presence of handsome young demigod who had made ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... of place on such a site. It is essentially and frankly an instance of street architecture; and as an instance of street architecture it is distinguished in its appearance rather than imposing. Not, indeed, that it is lacking in dignity. The facade on Fifth Avenue has poise, as well as distinction; character, as well as good manners. But still it does not insist upon its own peculiar importance, as every monumental building must do. It is content with a somewhat humbler role, but one which is probably more appropriate. It looks ingratiating ...
— Handbook of The New York Public Library • New York Public Library

... embarrassed on a level surface as might be imagined. They walk erect with a waddling or unsteady gait, but at a quick pace, the equilibrium of the body requiring to be kept up, either by touching the ground with the knuckles, first on one side then on the other, or by uplifting the arms so as to poise it. As with the Chimpanzee, the whole of the narrow, long sole of the foot is placed upon the ground at once, and raised at once, without any elasticity ...
— A Book of Natural History - Young Folks' Library Volume XIV. • Various

... a tall, shabby "foreigner" had lived in her dingy back sitting-room, and been closely watched lest he should go away without paying his rent, as shabby foreigners sometimes did. The Rat saw himself managing to poise himself very erect on his crutches while he told her that the shabby foreigner was—well, was at least the friend of a King, and had given him his crown—and would be made a prince and a Commander-in-Chief—and a Prime Minister—because ...
— The Lost Prince • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... quite exclusive of the minute qualities and individualities of the character represented. The voice must be modulated to the vogue of the time. The habitual action of a rapier-bearing age is different to that of a mail-clad one—nay, the armor of a period ruled in real life the poise and bearing of the body; and all this must be reproduced on the stage, unless the intelligence of the audience, be they ever so little skilled in history, ...
— The Drama • Henry Irving

... march we would be caught in heavy rains. The dirt road would soon be worked into a loblolly of sticky yellow mud. Thereupon we would take off our shoes and socks, tie them to the barrel of our muskets a little below the muzzle and just above the end of the stock, poise the piece on the hammer on either shoulder, stock uppermost, and roll up our breeches to the knees. Then like Tam O'Shanter, we "skelpit on through dub and mire, despising wind, and rain, and fire," and singing "John Brown's Body," or whatever else came handy. But rainy days in camp, especially ...
— The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 • Leander Stillwell

... but to die. 215 At this the sable King with prudent care Removed his station from the middle square, And slow retiring to the farthest ground, There safely lurk'd, with troops entrench'd around. Then from each quarter to the war advance 220 The furious Knights, and poise the trembling lance: By turns they rush, by turns the victors yield, Heaps of dead Foot choke up the crimson'd field: They fall unable to retreat; around The clang of arms and ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith • Oliver Goldsmith

... few seconds Jocelyn Thew was certainly taken aback. His little start, his look of blank astonishment, were coupled with a certain loss of poise which Crawshay had been quick to note. But, after all, the interlude ...
— The Box with Broken Seals • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... and in its way toward the starboard quarter threw up a rolling wave thirty feet high, crowned by a blue square mass of many tons, resembling the entire side of a house, which, after hanging for some time in doubtful poise on the ridge, at length fell with a crash into the hollow, in which, as in a cavern, the after-part of the ship seemed embedded. It was, indeed, an awful crisis, rendered more frightful from the mistiness of the night ...
— The Ocean and its Wonders • R.M. Ballantyne

... charlatans, were not usually actuated by philanthropic motives. Whatever benevolent sentiments they may have entertained, were in behalf of themselves. Many of them lived apart, as recluses, and were, in modern parlance, cranks, who lacked mental poise. Yet they were usually shrewd, and more or less adepts ...
— Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery • Robert Means Lawrence

... the sonnets mark great periods in the life of the poet, but we may be sure that the relation between experience and literary creation was not so literal as Brandes would have us believe. The change from mood to mood, from play to play, was gradual, and it never destroyed Shakespeare's poise and sanity. We shall not judge Shakespeare rightly if we believe that personal feeling rather than ...
— An Essay Toward a History of Shakespeare in Norway • Martin Brown Ruud



Words linked to "Poise" :   position, calmness, lay, prepare, set up, hover, nerve, calm, set, composure, fix, equilibrium, hold, carry, pose, equilibrate, equanimity, unit of viscosity, equilibrise, equilibrize, bear, gear up, steel, ready, juggle, place, sang-froid, put



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