The Phoenix Bird
Hans Christian Andersen
IN the Garden of Paradise, beneath the Tree of Knowledge, bloomed a rose bush. Here, in the first rose, a bird was born. His flight was like the flashing of light, his plumage was beauteous, and his song ravishing. But when Eve plucked the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, when she and Adam were driven from Paradise, there fell from the flaming sword of the cherub a spark into the nest of the bird, which blazed up forthwith. The bird perished in the flames; but from the red egg in the nest there fluttered aloft a new one—the one solitary Phoenix bird. The fable tells that he dwells in Arabia, and that every hundred years, he burns himself to death in his nest; but each time a new Phoenix, the only one in the world, rises up from the red egg.
The bird flutters round us, swift as light, beauteous in color, charming in song. When a mother sits by her infant’s cradle, he stands on the pillow, and, with his wings, forms a glory around the infant’s head. He flies through the chamber of content, and brings sunshine into it, and the violets on the humble table smell doubly sweet.
But the Phoenix is not the bird of Arabia alone. He wings his way in the glimmer of the Northern Lights over the plains of Lapland, and hops among the yellow flowers in the short Greenland summer. Beneath the copper mountains of Fablun, and England’s coal mines, he flies, in the shape of a dusty moth, over the hymnbook that rests on the knees of the pious miner. On a lotus leaf he floats down the sacred waters of the Ganges, and the eye of the Hindoo maid gleams bright when she beholds him.
The Phoenix bird, dost thou not know him? The Bird of Paradise, the holy swan of song! On the car of Thespis he sat in the guise of a chattering raven, and flapped his black wings, smeared with the lees of wine; over the sounding harp of Iceland swept the swan’s red beak; on Shakspeare’s shoulder he sat in the guise of Odin’s raven, and whispered in the poet’s ear “Immortality!” and at the minstrels’ feast he fluttered through the halls of the Wartburg.
The Phoenix bird, dost thou not know him? He sang to thee the Marseillaise, and thou kissedst the pen that fell from his wing; he came in the radiance of Paradise, and perchance thou didst turn away from him towards the sparrow who sat with tinsel on his wings.
The Bird of Paradise—renewed each century—born in flame, ending in flame! Thy picture, in a golden frame, hangs in the halls of the rich, but thou thyself often fliest around, lonely and disregarded, a myth—“The Phoenix of Arabia.”
In Paradise, when thou wert born in the first rose, beneath the Tree of Knowledge, thou receivedst a kiss, and thy right name was given thee—thy name, Poetry.
By John Donne
For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,
Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
My five gray hairs, or ruined fortune flout,
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
Take you a course, get you a place,
Observe his honor, or his grace,
Or the king's real, or his stampèd face
Contemplate; what you will, approve,
So you will let me love.
Alas, alas, who's injured by my love?
What merchant's ships have my sighs drowned?
Who says my tears have overflowed his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
When did the heats which my veins fill
Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
Litigious men, which quarrels move,
Though she and I do love.
Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly,
We're tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find the eagle and the dove.
The phœnix riddle hath more wit
By us; we two being one, are it.
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love.
We can die by it, if not live by love,
And if unfit for tombs and hearse
Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
And by these hymns, all shall approve
Us canonized for Love.
And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love
Made one another's hermitage;
You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
Into the glasses of your eyes
(So made such mirrors, and such spies,
That they did all to you epitomize)
Countries, towns, courts: beg from above
A pattern of your love!"
Wherever it is found, the phoenix is associated with resurrection, immortality, triumph over adversity, and that which rises out of the ashes. Thus it became a favorite symbol on early Christian tombstones.
In chapters 25-26 of his letter to the Corinthians, St. Clement, Bishop of Rome, upheld the legendary phoenix as an evidence of Christ's ability to accomplish the resurrection of the faithful. He quotes Job as saying, "Thou shalt raise up this flesh of mine, which has suffered all these things."
In numerous ways, the phoenix was found to be a symbol of Christ. In most countries, it was believed that only one phoenix lived at a time. It was born from itself without following the natural laws of reproduction. During the Middle Ages, it was believed to rise from the dead after three days.
Often, as an emblem of Christ, it was found with the palm tree (another symbol of resurrection) or carrying a palm branch (a symbol of triumph over death), or carrying an olive branch (a symbol of God's peace offered to humans).
The Phoenix is symbolic of rebirth, hope, purity, chastity, marriage, faith, constancy, summer, eternity, immortality, and light.
It is an image of the cosmic fire some believe the world began and will end in. The Taoists called it the "cinnabar bird." Romans placed the phoenix on coins and medals as an emblem of their desire for the Roman Empire to last forever.
Jean Grey-Summers is a fictional comic book superheroine appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. She has been known under the aliases Marvel Girl and later, Phoenix and Dark Phoenix, and is best known as one of five original members of the X-Men, for her relationship with Cyclops, and for her central role and transformation in the classic X-Men storyline, "The Dark Phoenix Saga".
“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from ashes and rise.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra quotes (Spanish writer, author of the masterwork 'El quijote', 1547-1616)
“It's best to have failure happen early in life. It wakes up the Phoenix bird in you so you rise from the ashes.”
Anne Baxter quotes
Phoenix – Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, there are many different figures that play important roles. At the top of the mythical creatures spoken of in Greek writings are the gods and goddesses, who live on Mount Olympus and oversee many aspects of everyday life. Then there are the creatures, beasts and mortals mixed with mythical creatures that fill out the rest of the roles in the myths. One of these creatures is the phoenix, Greek mythology's most famous bird.
The phoenix is a mythical (and mystical) firebird that is seen in many cultures, not just Greek society. The originating culture that started the myth of the phoenix is the ancient Egyptian culture – and all other myths regarding the phoenix seem to have sprung from this one. The phoenix is a sacred creature, a firebird that is said to live for 500 (or 1461) years, depending on the specific cultural myth. It is colored crimson and gold, and is much larger than other birds. At the end of its life span, the phoenix, Greek mythology's bird of regeneration, is said to build a nest of cinnamon sticks, and light them on fire; consequently, both the nest and the bird burn to ashes.
A new baby phoenix rises from these ashes, and embalms and stores the ashes of the old phoenix in an egg of myrrh. This egg is then deposited in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (Greek for the “city of the sun”). The phoenix can also regenerate parts of its body when wounded, further continuing the properties of regeneration and rebirth. The Egyptians closely associated the phoenix with fire and the sun, and he was often seen with the sun god Ra.
Sinead O'Conner - Troy (The Phoenix from the Flame)
I remember it
In Dublin in a rainstorm
We're sitting in the long grass in summer
I remember it
Every restless night
We were so young then we thought that everything we could possibly do was right
Then we move stolen from our very eyes
And I wondered where you went to
And tell me
When did the light die?
You will rise
The Phoenix from the flame
And we'll learn and we'll rise
Being what you are
There is no other Troy
For you to burn
And I never meant to hurt you
I swear I didn't mean those things I said
I never meant to do that to you
Next time I'll keep my hands to myself instead
Oh, and I should love you
What do you want to do?
Does she need you like I do?
Do you love her?
Is she good for you?
Does she hold you like I do?
Do you want me?
Should I leave?
I know you're always telling me that you love me
But just sometimes I wonder if I should believe
Oh, I love you
God, I love you
I'd kill a dragon for you