September 16, 2021•245 words
"Twenty bodies were thrown out of our wagon. Then the train resumed its journey, leaving behind it a few hundred naked dead, deprived of burial, in the deep snow of a field in Poland."
- Elie Wiesel, Night
"An aged man is but a paltry thing
A tattered coat upon a stick...."
- W. B. Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium"
Paltry - unimportant, insignificant
Tattered - ragged, scruffy
1+2) The word tattered creates a very worn-out or ragged visualization. Its affect in this phrase adds to the criticising atmosphere on aged men.
"Art is the antidote that can call us back from the edge of numbness, restoring the ability to feel for another."
- Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
1) Antidote is usually associated with medical terms. When someone uses the word antidote, it usually means the "saviour" from something that is troubling. In this context the author implies that the inability to feel for another can be "cured" through the means of art. Even though art varies for different people, it gives the subject a sense of security that they can rely on "art" to help them out.
2) The word gift radiates a whimsical tone and the word antidote is frequently used with medical terms. If the phrase was "Art is the gift that can..." is would sound like someone is giving you something in exchange for another thing. Antidote is more like something is mandatory to have.