Article

Voice and Voiceprints: Joyce and Recent Irish Poetry

Dillon Johnston

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199561247
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199561247.013.0010

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Voice and Voiceprints: Joyce and Recent Irish Poetry

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James Joyce relied on a repertory of early monocular love lyrics and his competence as a musician as a topic and a model for his early poetry, although he soon altered the speaker's role by admitting other narrators or doubling perspective to allow for parallactic sightings. Although his masterful innovations in narration, which would exert a profound influence on recent Irish poetry as well as prose, occurred mostly in his prose, these experimental narrations began a stealthy emergence in his poetry. In Joyce's poems, narrative doubling or duplicity is often ignored, and apparent narrative uniformity is read as the poet's voice, or even his ‘voiceprint’. Writing in 1982, Seamus Heaney suggested that Joyce's poems should be approached as refined music. Joyce's first collection of poems, now lost, was entitled Moods, most likely inspired by W. B. Yeats's essay ‘The Moods’ (1895).

Keywords: James Joyce; Irish poetry; narration; voice; voiceprint; Seamus Heaney; Moods; W. B. Yeats

Article.  8421 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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