If you were a rose, You would hide in the dark Until I discovered your delicate spark. If you were a rose, Every flower would fade, Entranced by the perfume which you radiate. If you were a rose, Your soft, velvety skin Would cover my eyes with the raptures unseen. If you were a rose, I would kiss your wild thorns, Crimson with blood, as it lingers and burns. If you were a rose, You would bloom all year long, Drinking my tears when I cry, all alone. If you were a rose, You would grow in my heart, Entwining it gently, as you tear me apart. My garden has blossomed With sorrow and loss. Why didn't you tell me that you were a rose?
“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 doubtless intellectual 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.Continue reading ““A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce (1916) ★★★★”