Here is a photo of James Joyce rockin’ the guitar. Bet you didn’t know he could do that! Joyce also won a medal in the Feis Ceol, Ireland’s premier music competition, as a Tenor. He only came second. Beaten by some guy called John McCormack. He was a dab hand at the poetry too, as attested below. Of course nowadays everyone associates him with the prose he wrote.
Today is Bloomsday, when the literary world celebrates the day which provides the backdrop for Ulysses. Dublin comes alive with delivery bikes, Edwardian clothing and lookalikes. Reading events are staged to celebrate his works.
Wasn’t like that when the dirty bird was still alive I can tell you. Back in the 1930’s he would have been whipped naked through the streets over the ashes of his burning books. Filth! Sure it’s only pornography without the pictures.
Now, O now, in this brown land
Where Love did so sweet music make
We two shall wander, hand in hand,
Forbearing for old friendship’ sake,
Nor grieve because our love was gay
Which now is ended in this way.
A rogue in red and yellow dress
Is knocking, knocking at the tree;
And all around our loneliness
The wind is whistling merrily.
The leaves — – they do not sigh at all
When the year takes them in the fall.
Now, O now, we hear no more
The vilanelle and roundelay!
Yet will we kiss, sweetheart, before
We take sad leave at close of day.
Grieve not, sweetheart, for anything — –
The year, the year is gathering.