Saturday, 14 February 2015

Circumnavigating Homer OR Engaging with James Joyce

At University, in the early 1970’s, I studied James Joyce’s Ulysses. The novel left a deep, lasting impression on me, something of which this poem attempts to convey. Make of it (and 'Ulysses') what you will...


Charybdis, blood-sucking history;
myth, reaching out to nourish our fictions
at the breast. Eyes of the navigator...

burning, like twin saints

Whose lips next to pluck a kiss from me?
I will suck the life from them, spew out the taste
of them - and Pallas won’t care,
my brave Ulysses, (save Mr Joyce put in a plea
for the sheer passion of absurdity)

I'll not be cheated of immortality
or heroes to wrestle the world’s straitjacket
while tin gods debate what’s right

and what's aesthetic…

Copyright R. N. Taber 1972; 2010

[Note: An earlier version of this poem appears in 1st eds. of Love and Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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