This poem is dedicated to the film “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” The exquisite digital painting for the sonnet was created by my dearest friend, a talented young artist Vasilisa Semiletova. You can behold her masterpieces here: https://vk.com/elopeople, and don’t hesitate to follow her Instagram!
I paint my dear love in subtle tones
Upon the canvas, luminous and warm.
Before my eyes - stripped to the bare bones -
Her soul ignites, as though about to burn…
"If you observe me, who do I look at?" -
Her question sets my quietude aflame.
"Remember us, beloved, don't regret:
Your portrait glows within a golden frame!"
The years pass: my heart still skips a beat
Whenever it recalls the day she smiled;
I turned around, confessing my defeat,
Forever from the lover's arms exiled.
Alas, her longing gaze did not meet mine,
Enraptured, when I saw her one last time.
“To arts unknown he bends his wits, and alters nature.”
― Ovid, Metamorphoses.
Myriads of evocative images permeate the debut novel of the most influential Irish modernist, conveying the entire spectrum of feelings ranging from religious fervour to the ardour of lust. A master of intertextuality, Joyce intermingles philosophical discussions (unfortunately, often one-sided, despite their doubtlessintellectual splendour) with “scraps of poetry and madness” – playful allusions to ancient myths and historical events. Nevertheless, a vivid combination of excessive naturalism and vague surrealism may be exhausting for the reader, as the rigorous author does not attempt to ease the acute transitions from one state of consciousness into another. It is only for the literary adventurers themselves to decide whether this egocentric coming-of-age journey is worth the effervescent, yet turbulent ride.