Critical Companion to James Joyce: A Literary Companion to by A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Michael Patrick Gillespie

By A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Michael Patrick Gillespie

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Extra info for Critical Companion to James Joyce: A Literary Companion to His Life And Works, Edition: Revised

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This juxtaposition of the poems gives the reader a fuller sense of the complementary feelings of sensuality and sentimentality that comprise the concept of mature love. “From dewy dreams, my soul, arise” Poem 19 (XV); this poem is made up of three four-line stanzas. In the first, the speaker addresses his soul, bidding it to rise from sleep and dreams, and to awaken to the new day. The next stanza alludes to the waking world that is now displacing sleep, while the final stanza offers a lyrical picture of the spirits of day rousing themselves.

In the second stanza, the speaker attempts to answer his own question by identifying her fearful mood with that of Coleridge or Shakespeare reading “some strange name” in Purchas or Holinshed, and creating “a mad tale,” ghostly and terrifying. Joyce’s allusions are obvious. Coleridge was inspired to write his visionary poem “Kubla Khan or, a Vision in a Dream” by reading Purchas. Holinshed was the major source behind Shakespeare’s Macbeth and King Lear. This poem was also published separately, along with “What counsel has the hooded moon” (XII), in the November 1904 issue of the London journal Venture.

Perhaps the rare quality of these songs might captivate certain readers. Such a song as Bright Cap and Streamers or Silently She’s Combing ought to catch every fancy, and the graver poems ought to awaken every imagination. But if anything in art is small, and merely good, without anything but that fact to recommend it, it has usually to wait a long time for recognition. People are so afraid of following even an impulse, fearing that they may be mistaken. How unlikely it seems, does it not, that any new thing should come suddenly into the world and be beautiful?

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