Saturday, August 13, 2011

Alone - James Joyce

The moon's greygolden meshes make
All night a veil,
The shorelamps in the sleeping lake
Laburnum tendrils trail.

The sly reeds whisper to the night
A name- her name-
And all my soul is a delight,
A swoon of shame.

Last semester, as part of my application for the Fenwick Scholar position, I set, as proof of concept, a poem of James Joyce's to music, and wrote a brief write-up about how the text and music interacted.  The poem I settled on was XXIII, from Chamber Music.  However, my first attempt was to set this poem, Alone, from Joyce's Pomes Penyeach.  I wrote a lovely melody that I feel captures the piece well, but when it came time to write a piano accompaniment, I was at a complete loss.  I'll revisit this eventually, and compose an adequate setting.  To do so may require my to throw out my previous idea, but that's alright.  I'm sure Joyce tossed out more drafts than any of us can imagine.


  1. You seem to have fallen into the trap of copying this from the first internet source you is MOON....MOON.
    Try thinking about the poem. How could it be Noon????

  2. The poem was (hastily) copied from a text source, and the error slipped by unnoticed. Thank you for letting me know.