Monday, June 15, 2009

"Blood not mine" (Joyce, King, Your Name Here)

All the cool kids actually understood Ulysses, or claimed to, and all I am getting out of it are some rock song lyrics.

A side-eye at my Hamlet hat
If I were suddenly naked here,
as I sit? I am not.

Across the sands of all the world,
followed by the sun's flaming sword,
to the west, trekking to evening lands.

She trudges, schlepps, trains,
drags, trascines her load
A tide westering, moondrawn, in her wake.

Tides, myriadislanded, within her,
blood not mine, oinopa ponton, a winedark sea.
Behold the handmaid of the moon.

In sleep the wet sign calls her hour,
bids her rise. Bridebed, childbed, bed of death,
ghostcandled. Omni caro ad te veniet.

He comes, pale vampire,
through storm his eyes,
his bat sails bloodying the sea,
mouth to her mouth's kiss.

This is one paragraph in James Joyce's novel; I have broke it up into verses and lines to suggest how it might be scored and sung. Every one of these lines has a phrase that would make a sparkling title.


Image from some Flickr set named after oinopa ponton, a winedark sea.

I am told Omnis caro ad te veniet ("All flesh shall come to thee") is a Latin citation from Psalm 64.2 in the Vulgate, incorporated in the Requiem Mass. I take it in this passage Stephen Dedalus is tripping on his death mother again.

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