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
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 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,
your state, your mind with arts improve,
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?
merchant's ships have my sighs drowned?
Who says my tears have overflowed his ground?
When did my
colds a forward spring remove?
did the heats which my veins fill
one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
men, which quarrels move,
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.
phœnix riddle hath more wit
we two being one, are it.
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
We die and
rise the same, and prove
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,
build in sonnets pretty rooms;
well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
And by these
hymns, all shall approve
And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love
You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
Who did the
whole world's soul contract, and drove
the glasses of your eyes
(So made such mirrors, and such
That they did all to you epitomize)
towns, courts: beg from above
A pattern of
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',
“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
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.
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