Friday, March 13, 2009

Hibernian Guest Blog

Hi, Atticus here guest blogging. For Poetry Friday and in honor of St. Patrick's, I've decided to add this passage from James Joyce's masterpiece "The Dead," maybe the finest short story in the English language. You'll find the entire piece in Dubliners, a collection of stories all constructed around epiphanic moments in the the lives of their protagonists. You may also wish to see the movie. It was John Huston's last picture, and it is very good:

Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling.

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.


Anonymous said...

well done, daddy!

Anonymous said...

that was from me daddy, ramona!

( not some anonamas person! me, ramona!)

Melanie B said...

Well done indeed. I just love the end of The Dead. On of my favorite moments in literature. Thanks for the taste of Joyce.

Scott said...

Wow. My kids have a father who colors the milk green for St. Patrick's Day. The Edmistens have a dad who throws down some James Joyce.

Edmistens FTW!

Fr. Scott said...

Thanks, Atticus! This was a pleasure to read.

mike said...

My favorite short story, too -- though it has great competition in Dubliners itself! Thanks!