Weekend Words: Revive

Caravaggio, “The Raising of Lazarus” (detail) (1608–09), oil on canvas (Museo Regionale, Messina) (image via Web Gallery of Art)

Today’s New York Times Magazine brings news from the forefront of the de-extinction movement, which hopes to use genome-editing technology to revive lost species, including “an Australian frog, extinct for 30 years, that gave birth through its mouth.”

“Sometimes night revives a singular plant whose gleam breaks up rooms and their furniture into solid masses of shadow.”

—Francis Ponge (translated by John Ashbery)

“If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison, and destroy.”

—Ralph Ellison

“The history of art is the history of revivals.”

—Samuel Butler, Notebooks

“We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness. I have said before
That the past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations — not forgetting
Something that is probably quite ineffable.”

—T. S. Eliot, The Dry Salvages

“Great ideas come into the world as quietly as doves. Perhaps then , if we listen attentively we shall hear, among the uproar of empires and nations, the faint fluttering of wings, the gentle stirrings of life and hope. Some will say this hope lies in a nation; others in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. Each and every one, on the foundations of their own suffering and joy builds for all.”

—Albert Camus

“Civilization can only revive when there shall come into being in a number of individuals a new tone of mind independent of the one prevalent among the crowd and in opposition to it, a tone of mind which will gradually win influence over the collective one, and in the end determine its character. It is only an ethical movement which can rescue us from the slough of barbarism, and the ethical comes into existence only in individuals.”

—Albert Schweitzer

“Now we grow old and grey
and all we knew is forgotten
there comes alive in
the ash of today, memory! a god
who revives us! the apple trees
we climbed as a body
the caress on our necks of
a summer breeze.”

—William Carlos Williams, Reverie and Invocation

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Psalms, 138:7

“It’s high time something was done for the pitchers. They put up the stands and take down fences to make more home runs and plague the pitchers. Let them revive the spitter and help the pitchers make a living.”

—Casey (Charles Dillon) Stengel

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