Friday, 17 August 2007

Pomes Penyeach

She Weeps over Rahoon

Rain on Rahoon falls softly, softly falling,
Where my dark lover lies.
Sad is his voice that calls me, sadly calling,
At grey moonrise.

Love, hear thou
How soft, how sad his voice is ever calling,
Ever unanswered and the dark rain falling,
Then as now.

Dark too our hearts, O love, shall lie and cold
As his sad heart has lain
Under the moongrey nettles, the black mould
And muttering rain.

James Joyce (1913) from "Pomes Penyeach".

The statue is in Trieste, on the Canal Grande looking towards the Piazza Ponterosso, where Joyce lived.

Ezra Pound didn't like the poems, and rejected them for publication. As the Wikipedia entry puts it, rather cattily, "they are remarkable not only for their economy of language and the sharpness of their imagery, but also for their humanity and compassion – qualities which Pound perhaps found difficult to appreciate."


Wickedred said...

This is too early in the morning over here to feel my soul. I have contracts to negotiate! Damn you for distracting me...

Chertiozhnik said...

The flintiest-hearted business person is surely going to turn to jelly if you quote it at them... then move in for the kill.

There is a "surely" in there, usually a sign that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Mad Dog said...

Pound may have had a point but in any case I'm going to try my best to finish Ulysses on my summer hols this year. I've been trying to read the bloody thing for 10 year and it's nigh on impenetrable.

Chertiozhnik said...

Good luck with Ulysses! I tried Finnegan's Wake once on a holiday in Ireland... stalled out on page 2.