Thursday, February 2, 2012

Three Quarks for Muster Mark!

Today is the birthday of James Joyce, born February 2, 1882. Joyce is, of course, the most tortured and most influential of all 20th Century writers. His life and his work has inspired all manner of praise and pilgrimage, from the small and silly to the large and ambitious. Revisit his work as often as you can, and read the indispensable biography by Richard Ellmann (double-ell, double-enn!) some day. For today, take the time to visit the absolutely marvelous James Joyce Portal curated by Jorn Barger.

This small section is from Joyce's final work Finnegans Wake.

Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he hasn't got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.
But O, Wreneagle Almighty, wouldn't un be a sky of a lark
To see that old buzzard whooping about for uns shirt in the dark
And he hunting round for uns speckled trousers around by Palmerstown Park?
Hohohoho, moulty Mark!
You're the rummest old rooster ever flopped out of a Noah's ark
And you think you're cock of the wark.
Fowls, up! Tristy's the spry young spark
That'll tread her and wed her and bed her and red her
Without ever winking the tail of a feather
And that's how that chap's going to make his money and mark!

Overhoved, shrillgleescreaming. That song sang seaswans. The winging ones. Seahawk, seagull, curlew and plover, kestrel and capercallzie. All the birds of the sea they trolled out rightbold when they smacked the big kuss of Trustan with Usolde.

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