it's what's behind
What counts, said Joyce, is what's behind
the words and music of the score.
Ignore them both and you will find
their very essence, which is more
than words and music, though you can't
define it if you're asked to do so.
They’re new to you, each time you chant,
like islands unexplored by Crusoe,
a hero long ago created
by Irish spirit, just like Joyce,
who found what’s unanticipated,
deep meaning, may not have a voice.
Michael Seidel ('An Irish Tenor Named Joyce Inspires a Musical') writes about a new musical, 'James Joyce's 'The Dead, '' which opens on October 28th at Playwrights Horizons, in Clinton (NYT, October 1,1999) . Joyce used to love to sit down at the piano and play Irish music hall ballads late into the night. His son Giorgio was a professional baritone and he himself had a sweet, soaring tenor voice that enchanted French soldiers in Brittany in 1939 when he sang the 'Marseillaise'. Otto Luening, who knew him in Zurich during the First World War, recalls an occasion when Joyce hummed a tenor aria from Gluck's 'Orfeo' and was so absorbed that he went into a trance in the middle of his rendition. 'Word? Music' No: it's what's behind, ' thinks Leopold Bloom in 'Ulysses'. Seidel points out that love, sadness, ecstasy and all the things that we cannot define but make us feel good and whole or feel bad and divided are behind the words and music and are what counts.
gershon hepner's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (it's what's behind by gershon hepner )
- Thief and poet, gajanan mishra
- Go on, Sweet Bird, and Soothe my Care, Robert Burns
- Second Epistle to J. Lapraik, Robert Burns
- The Soldier's Return: A Ballad, Robert Burns
- Epistle to Hugh Parker, Robert Burns
- Everlasting, Cee Bea
- Oh Daisy, Prophmatt . . .
- Versified Reply to an Invitation, Robert Burns
- Suppressed Stanzas of "The Vision&q.., Robert Burns
- mask, Aftab Alam
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Leisure, William Henry Davies
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Being With You, Heather Burns
- Bright Star, John Keats
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
- Heather Burns
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)