Wednesday Poetry Break: Bloomsday Edition

James Joyce’s epic novel Ulysses is celebrated annually on this date.  This book gets undeserved grief for its length, I think. Budding writers should notice that this this long story all takes place on one day: June 16, 1904.  Not an easy story telling method to attempt.  Plus, I love Joyce’s use of language. I really do. If you’ve never tackled anything by James Joyce, I recommend starting with his collections of short stories: The Dubliners. Brilliant.

So although this is not from Ulysses, it is by James Joyce. Let’s lift a pint for Leopold Bloom!

Strings in the Earth and Air

Strings in the earth and air
Make music sweet;
Strings by the river where
The willows meet.

There’s music along the river
For Love wanders there,
Pale flowers on his mantle,
Dark leaves on his hair.

All softly playing,
With head to the music bent,
And fingers straying
Upon an instrument.

— James Joyce

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One comment

  1. “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” is also an easy intro to Joyce, as I recall. I haven’t, however, had the courage to get into Ulysses. Tried once but got frustrated because I couldn’t see the connection to the Odyssey. But I’m the kind of person who needs road signs. Maybe I should try Google Maps?!

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