Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bronze by Gold

The more I read, the more I come back to James Joyce. Radically innovative in both form and content, Joyce also wrote language unrivaled for sheer beauty and told moving human stories. He was both radically traditional and revolutionary. I really can’t think of a 20th Century poet who came anywhere close to Joyce’s success in creating the literature of the future without sacrificing the artistic values of the past that deserve to be saved. William Carlos Williams? Please. Eliot, Pound, Stein, Stevens …? If there had been such a poet, I suspect more people would be reading poetry now.

Bronze by gold heard the hoofirons, steelyringing.
Imperthnthn thnthnthn.
Chips, picking chips off rocky thumbnail, chips.
Horrid! And gold flushed more.
A husky fifenote blew.
Blew. Blue bloom is on the.
Goldpinnacled hair.
A jumping rose on satiny breast of satin, rose of Castile.
Trilling, trilling: Idolores …

—James Joyce

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