The Coral with its mythical aura and its uncertain nature,
halfway between the different kingdoms of creation, has inspired writers,
philosophers and scientists of all times. Source of eternal love, Coral is contemplated
and caressed in the bewildering variety of its forms. Here are the most famous
quotations about the red gold.
“He washes his hands, after the victory, in seawater drawn for him, and, so that Medusa’s head, covered with its snakes, is not bruised by the harsh sand, he makes the ground soft with leaves, and spreads out plants from below the waves, and places the head of that daughter of Phorcys on them. The fresh plants, still living inside, and absorbent, respond to the influence of the Gorgon’s head, and harden at its touch, acquiring a new rigidity in branches and fronds. And the ocean nymphs try out this wonder on more plants, and are delighted that the same thing happens at its touch, and repeat it by scattering the seeds from the plants through the waves. Even now corals have the same nature, hardening at a touch of air, and what was alive, under the water, above water is turned to stone.”
"The CORAL has the beauty of the rose, the color of blood, the clear nature of crystal, the heat of the fire."
Vittorio G. Rossi, 1973
"All wear the corals, rich and poor, they raise those below and adorn those above." Joseph Roth, "
The Merchant Of Corals", The Leviathan
"It is like soft grass growing not on land but in the sea, whose saltiness causes the little plant to rot, and so the leaves detach themselves and the foam of the sea brings the plan ashore. The air hardens it and whoever touches it would say that what long ago was grass was now stone”.
"The CORAL is a stony plant that grows in the sea."
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, Relation d'un voyage du Levant
"I did blossom the Coral in pots filled with seawater, I whatched what we believe to be the flower of this stony plant , it is, in truth, nothing but an insect like to a small sea anemone [...] The anemone blossoms, spreads its tentacles and forms what, Marsili and I, had believed to be the flower petals. The calyx of this false flore is the body of the animal come out of his cell"
Jean Antoine Peyssonnel, 1724
"A brunette woman, almost naked, has curly hair spread out, with an elephant head as crest, a string of coral around the neck, and two coral pendant as earings, the right hand holds a scorpion, and the left onea cornucopia full of sheaf of wheat; on one side there is a ferocious lion, on the other side, some vipers and poisonous snakes ... the black hair, curly , corals around the neck and on the ears are Moorish ornaments.... "
Cesare Ripa, "Iconology", 1618
“They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor.”
From the movie "The Last Samurai", directed by Edward Zwick, 2003
It shines as the coral and compares it with the opposite white snow. Oh blessed is she who wears the necklace, and her Lord wanted to crown her among the rivals. […] of loving sweetness, there is no coral, and the chosen bride. Here the men, between the grief and the damsel, who anoints with bitter myrrh the beloved body and the legions of pitiful women wrapped him in swaddling clothes and garlands of precious coral, and in the tombs the last gift with the dead is closed
Cesare Arici, "Coral", 1810
“There are many more species of CORALS than the common people know. They knows them only from the shop windows. First of all there are smoothed and not; squared and spherical; in the form of spikes and poles, which seem barbed wire; yellowish hues CORAL, almost red and white, the color that sometimes the edges of tea-rose petals have, yellowish pink CORALS, pink, red-brick, red-beet-colored, cinnabar and finally those like drops of dried blood. There are perfectly round and half-roundones; CORALS similar to small barrels and other to small cylinders; There are straight CORALS, lopsided and even huchbacked. There are stars, thorn, prongs, and flowers. CORALS are the noblest plants in the Ocean, they are the roses of the capricious sea goddess, as rich in forms and colors as the whims of these same goddesses."
Joseph Roth, "The Merchant Of Corals", The Leviathan