Flood

- 1882-1941

Gold-brown upon the sated flood
The rock-vine clusters lift and sway:
Vast wings above the lambent waters brood
Of sullen day.

A waste of waters ruthlessly
Sways and uplifts its weedy mane,
Where brooding day stares down upon the sea
In dull disdain.

Uplift and sway, O golden vine,
Thy clustered fruits to love's full flood,
Lambent and vast and ruthless as is thine
Incertitude.

More by James Joyce

Ecce Puer

Of the dark past
A child is born;
With joy and grief
My heart is torn.

Calm in his cradle
The living lies.
May love and mercy
Unclose his eyes!

Young life is breathed
On the glass;
The world that was not
Comes to pass.

A child is sleeping:
An old man gone.
O, father forsaken,
Forgive your son! 

I Hear an Army

I hear an army charging upon the land,   
  And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:   
Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,   
  Disdaining the reins, with fluttering whips, the charioteers.   
   
They cry unto the night their battle-name:        
  I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter.   
They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,   
  Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.   
   
They come shaking in triumph their long, green hair:   
  They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore. 
My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?   
  My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?

Ulysses [excerpt]

Molly Bloom's closing soliloquy

...and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Related Poems

Uncertain Grace

                         After Sebastião Salgado

How can she be beautiful? Eyes, ribs, the slope 
and angle of bone. The flesh itself is finished, 
so close it's come to the end

of hunger, a husk set aside, tied shut 
at the knees and ankles. Thumbs hooked 
with clean white cord. What used to be.

Famine in the Sahel, the eyes blown out.

She graces and wrecks the gallery walls
with her vanishing. Her lips dark with flies.

A man stubs out his cigarette.
	
           *          *           *

And yet the earth's haunches, its flanks of sand. 
Devious leaves and riverbeds, the pungent stars.

Something petalled and lush near the stone tomb 
where her eyes may yet open.

Swept clean. Someone has left a plate of salt fish 
and wine. This is arousal--how things live sometimes 
beyond great hurt. Elastic beauty. The lunatic flesh.