Today, 4th October, is International Poetry Day, and I wrote the following poem for the occasion.
I’d been re-reading “Giacomo Joyce” – written by Joyce in Trieste, between his Chamber Music poems and his greatest novel, Ulysses – and generally meditating on my years reading his works, during my twenties. I didn’t always understand everything he wrote, but I loved the sound of it, the pen was his musical instrument. He was also a fine tenor singer, who loved Irish song and also English lute songs by Dowland and others. The sound of his writing appealed to the musician in me, and I would often recite his works out loud while wandering inebriated through darkened streets of Dundee, my own Dublin of the imagination.
So, here’s my “in memoriam, James Joyce.” I’ve tried to imitate his style, while referencing the opening to Finegans Wake, and Stephen Dedalus’ walk (with trusty ash-plant walking stick) along the beach at Sandymount in Dalkey, on the outskirts of Dublin. Dedalus was Joyce’s fictional name for his younger self, with reference to Daedalus, father of Icarus – who also makes an appearance in my poem. Icarus = Joyce.