Posted tagged ‘thinking of James Joyce on St. Patrick’s day poem’

Martello

March 18, 2018

Martello

my best memory of Ireland,
was the woman outside
Joyce’s Castle, who had just stepped from
the Irish Sea–it was early December-
and whose entire body – rumple
of belly, thigh, brest bobbed
over a gleaming interlace of morn and underwear
like the chill-blossomed cheeks
about her smile– a bright blow
of a woman, her hair a curl of raven against
a fleeting sun–

I kept thinking of the fresh thick milk Stephen Dedalus and his mocked friends pour into their strong tea at the beginning of
Ulysses, and how
I wanted some, me who was not robust
that trip and so cold and so
lonely that I did not take off my wool turtleneck even
to bathe but rather shivered in a shallow tin tub, submerging only
my nether regions.

So many years ago, still, I fear going back–
some memories you do not wish
to replace,
but weave them again and again like an older
Penelope, happy for the feel of familiar warps–
you know the way yarns wave
with re-use.

***********************

Draft poem for Brendan’s post on Real Toads stemming from some kind of Irish blarney, or not, on St. Patrick’s Day.  Martello is the little castle James Joyce lived in while beginning his novel, Ulysses, and also where his character Stephen Dedalus lives during the novel.  Pastel is mine – the woman was not quite so shoulder heavy!  

 

(Apologies – an earlier version of the post misspelled Stephen Dedalus.)