Whirling with James Joyce

93 photo 93_zps6b1f3df6.jpg

Dublin, where I spent the days after Christmas, is a UNESCO City of Literature. The first line of each haiku or senryu below is taken from “Eveline,” a short story by James Joyce, one of Dublin’s enduring writers.

A man from Belfast
stumbled through the morning mist,
looking for a sign.
~~ ~~ ~~
The two young children
scattered, one this way, one that,
with the man’s advance.
~~ ~~ ~~
He told her the names
of the faces in the mirror—
she forgot each one.
~~ ~~ ~~
For so many years
stable straw sustained her soul—
famine in the chaff.
~~ ~~ ~~
On the cinder path
a tattered coat, pockets torn,
stayed her wayward feet.
~~ ~~ ~~
She elbowed her way
through a vast crowd of thousands,
brooking no rebuke.
~~ ~~ ~~
Brothers and sisters,
do you fear cathedral chimes
stunning the night air?
~~ ~~ ~~
The name of the priest,
Gorman, had an edge to it,
like grit in her teeth.
~~ ~~ ~~
With his blackthorn stick
he begins to scale the wall—
all his foes fall back.
~~ ~~ ~~
Out of the last house
comes a scream of raw terror—
neighbors close their blinds.
~~ ~~ ~~
Everything changes,
from the broad curved boulevard
to the trackless waste.
~~ ~~ ~~
Little brown houses
skirted the village edges—
mice snuffling for crumbs.

© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More The Poetry Pantry #134
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 93

Posted on January 27, 2013, in haiku, senryu, The Poetry Pantry, The Sunday Whirl. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Truly ingenious from title on ! 🙂

  2. JJ has some good Whirling material!

  3. You whirled perfectly !!

  4. This has the feel of a whole story. Brilliant haiku-ing.

  5. I like how you used the first line from a story for each stanza adding another challenge to your poem!

  6. J Cosmo Newbery

    Now I want a Guinness. Thank you!

  7. I love the last line..also love the construction of your pieces..how each verse is a separate story almost.. but part of the bigger tale..

  8. An excellent selection of haiku.

  9. Been a while since I visited. I do like your sequences. Love the name as grit, and of course the mouse houses.

  10. these are a fabulous series. There is such depth to them and some of the writing is simply breathtaking. One of my favourite reads for a while. Thanks.

  11. All good. I liked the one about the faces in the mirror…so sad to have forgotten the names of each one. And definitely sad about people closing their blinds to avoid knowing what cause the scream of terror.

  12. The depth of each piece astounds me. These are a good tool for your writing. You do the lines of others proud, adding beauty and insight.

  13. You weave an interesting story here. Your final haiku ends it just right.

  14. Wonderful. After reading your haiku I feel as if I have traveled the world! Each haiku is
    so visual – and intriuging.

  15. I always so admire your series of haiku – this one tells a story, and so eloquently. I especially love the little brown houses, like mice……

  16. The third one is my favorite. Outstanding work.

  17. You are so clever with these, mmt. Nice collection.


  18. What a thrill to read this haiku so full of meaning

  19. Another great string. Enjoy them always.

  20. This is my favorite:

    “On the cinder path
    a tattered coat, pockets torn,
    stayed her wayward feet.”

  21. “The two young children…” broke my heart. You are the master of evoking response through brevity.

  22. I loved the haiku-ing! Well done MMT. There’s a soft discipline to the haiku that gets me every time. Really enjoyed this string. 🙂

  23. Somehow I knew you would be a whirling with Joyce! However, my favorite line in your haiku set today is yours, MMT. “mice snuffling for crumbs.’ 😉

  24. WabiSabi, I agree with your fave! nice weaving of words, MMT!

  25. Excellent spill of words. I especially love:
    “stable straw sustained her soul”

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