The phoenix (Ancient Greek: Φοῖνιξ, phoínix) is a mythical firebird which dies in flames and is reborn from the ashes. Scholars have observed analogues to the phoenix in a variety of cultures, including the Hindu Garuda and Gandaberunda, the Russian firebird, the Arabian anka, Persian simorgh, the Turkish kerkes, the Tibetan Me byi karmo, the Chinese fenghuang, and the Japanese ho-oh.
- Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix.
- Christina Baldwin, in One to One (1977)
- First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance,
The scourge of England and the boast of France!
Though burnt by wicked Bedford for a witch,
Behold her statue plac'd in glory's niche;
Her fetters burst, and just releas'd from prison,
A virgin phoenix from her ashes risen.
- Lord Byron, in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809)
- When fame's loud trump hath blown its noblest blast,
Though long the sound, the echo sleeps at last;
And glory, like the phoenix midst her fires,
Exhales her odours, blazes, and expires.
- Lord Byron, in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809)
- Ask me no more if east or west
The Phoenix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.
- Thomas Carew, in "A Song"
- And I said, I will perish with my nest,
and I will multiply days as the phoenix. (Hebrew: chol).
- 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, as quoted in The Book of the Bizarre: Freaky Facts & Strange Stories (2008) by Varla Ventura, p. 46
- In the sunrise … the Phoenix effect!?! Now what the heck does that mean: freaky after-image of a very freak dream … or harbinger of something worse?
- You forget, fuzzy elf … I'm Phoenix. If I die it's only to be reborn — hopefully better and brighter than before.
- The facts in my head, they're so jumbled up … I don't know anymore what's real and what isn't — what actually happened … what's a lie. But it doesn't matter. Because the clutter doesn't affect my emotional realities — perhaps, in turn, because the Phoenix by nature responds better to feelings than rationality. I know who I am — who I care for, who I don't — that's what matters. The rest I can take or leave.
- Chris Claremont in Excalibur : The Sword is Drawn (1987) Rachel Summers (Phoenix), p. 44
- There is another holy bird, called the Phoenix, which I have never seen but in pictures. He rarely appears in Egypt — only once in every 500 years, so they say, in Heliopolis — and he is supposed to come when his father dies. If the painter describes him truly, his plumage is part golden and part red, and he is very like an eagle in shape and size. They say that this bird comes from Arabia, bringing the body of his father embalmed in myrrh to the temple of the sun, and there he buries him. First he molds an egg of myrrh; then he puts his father in the middle of it. Lastly, he covers up the body with myrrh. This is what they say this bird does. But I do not believe them.
- Herodotus in Histories Vol. 2
- A chattering crow lives out nine generations of aged men,
but a stag's life is four time a crow's,
and a raven's life makes three stags old,
while the phoenix outlives nine ravens,
but we, the rich-haired Nymphs
daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder,
outlive ten phoenixes.
- Hesiod, in The Precepts of Chiron
- Do not expect again a phoenix hour,
The triple-towered sky, the dove complaining,
Sudden the rain of gold and heart's first ease
Traced under trees by the eldritch light of sundown.
- Cecil Day-Lewis, in "From Feathers to Iron"(1931)
- Hurry! We burn
For Rome’s so near us, for the phoenix moment
When we have thrown off this traveller’s trance
And mother-naked and ageless-ancient
Wake in her warm nest of renaissance.
- Cecil Day-Lewis in "Flight to Italy" in An Italian Visit (1953)
- My mom was a phoenix who always expected to rise again from the ashes of her latest disaster. And in spite of her self-doubts, she had a very strong sense of who she was. She had a sense of self-worth. She loved being Judy Garland. Did she secretly long to be Frances Gumm Somebody, Minnesota housewife? Are you kidding? She'd have run off with a vaudeville troupe just the way my grandfather did.
- Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon, and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live a life as long as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gathered sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent’s sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.
- "I used to watch them as a kid. My granny told me about 'em. Some cold nights you see them dancin' in the sky over the Hub, burnin' green and gold..."
"Oh, you mean the aurora coriolis," said Oats, trying to make his voice sound matter of fact. "But actually that's caused by magic particles hitting the-"
"Dunno what it's caused by," said Granny sharply, "but what it is is the phoenix dancin'."
- Now I will believe
That there are unicorns; that in Arabia
There is one tree, the phoenix' throne, one phoenix
At this hour reigning there.
- There'll be that crowd, that barbarous crowd, through all the centuries,
And who can say but some young belle may walk and talk men wild
Who is my beauty's equal, though that my heart denies,
But not the exact likeness, the simplicity of a child,
And that proud look as though she had gazed into the burning sun,
And all the shapely body no tittle gone astray.
I mourn for that most lonely thing; and yet God's will be done:
I knew a phoenix in my youth, so let them have their day.
- William Butler Yeats, in "His Phoenix" in The Wild Swans at Coole (1917)
- Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phœnix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.