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They mouth love's language. Gnash The thirteen teeth Your lean jaws grin with. Lash Your itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh. Love's breath in you is stale, worded or sung, As sour as cat's breath, Harsh of tongue. This grey that stares Lies not, stark skin and bone. Leave greasy lips their kissing. None Will choose her what you see to mouth upon. Dire hunger holds his hour. Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears. Pluck and devour!
- by James Joyce (1882 - 1941), "A memory of the players in a mirror at midnight", written 1917, appears in Pomes Penyeach, no. 11 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by David Del Tredici (b. 1937), "A memory of the players in a mirror at midnight", 1965 [soprano, mezzo-soprano or counter-tenor, and instrumental ensemble], from Night Conjure-Verse, no. 2. [text verified 1 time]
- by (Aynsley) Eugene Goossens, Sir (1893 - 1962), "A memory of the players in a mirror at midnight", published 1933 [voice and piano], from The Joyce Book, no. 11. [text verified 1 time]
- by Donald James Martino (1931 - 2005), "A memory of the players in a mirror at midnight", published 1970 [soprano, bass, or tenor and piano], from Three songs, no. 3. [text not verified]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Un souvenir des acteurs dans un miroir à minuit", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 82
Ils font semblant de parler la langue de l'amour. Grincement Des treize dents, Sourire de mâchoires maigres. Fouette Ta démangeaison et ta reculade, gloutonnerie nue de la chair. Le souffle de l'amour en toi est éventé, parlé ou chanté, Aussi aigre que l'haleine d'un chat, Râpeux que sa langue. Ce gris qui regarde Ne ment pas, peau morne et os. Laisse aux lèvres grasses leurs baisers. Personne Ne la choisira pour poser la bouche sur ce que tu vois. La faim extrême tient son heure. Arrache ton cœur, sang salé, fruit de larmes. Arrache et dévore !
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2009 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
- a text in English by James Joyce (1882 - 1941), "A memory of the players in a mirror at midnight", written 1917, appears in Pomes Penyeach, no. 11
This text was added to the website: 2009-11-09
Line count: 14
Word count: 97