Ulysses Poem Quotes

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Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson (Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems)
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson (Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems)
I love your round head, the brilliant green, the watching blue, these letters, this world, you. I am very, very hungry.
Kate DiCamillo (Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures)
William Spiver said that the universe was expanding…that means there will be more of everything! More cheese puffs, more jelly sandwiches, more words, more poems, more love. And more giant donuts…maybe even gianter donuts. Is gianter a word? It should be.
Kate DiCamillo (Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures)
Beneath it all I kept faith with Ithaca, travelled, Travelled and travelled, Suffering much, enjoying a little; Met strange people singing New myths; made myths myself. But this lion of the sea Salt-maned, scaly, wondrous of tail, Touched with power, insistent On this brief promontory... Puzzles.
Edwin Thumboo (The Best of Edwin Thumboo)
Our most heated argument concerned the preponderance of women in my epic and Athene’s ubiquity, and the precedence given to famous women when Odysseus meets the ghosts of the departed. I had mentioned only Tyro, Antiope, Alcmene, Jocasta, Chloris, Leda, Iphimedeia, Phaedra, Procris, Ariadne, Maera, Clymene and, naturally, Eriphyle, and let Odysseus describe them to Alcinous. “My dear Princess,” said Phemius, “if you really think that you can pass off this poem as the work of a man, you deceive yourself. A man would give pride of place to the ghosts of Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Odysseus’s old comrades, and other more ancient heroes such as Minos, Orion, Tityus, Salmoneus, Tantalus, Sisyphus and Hercules; and mention their wives and mothers incidentally, if at all; and make at least one god help Odysseus at some stage or other.” I admitted the force of his argument, which explains why, now, Odysseus first meets a comrade who has fallen off a roof at Circe’s house—I call him Elpenor—and cracks a mild joke about Elpenor’s having come more quickly to the Grove of Persephone by land than he by sea. I also allow Alcinous to ask after Agamemnon, Achilles and the rest, and Odysseus to satisfy his curiosity. For Phemius’s sake I have even let Hermes supply the moly in passages adapted from my uncle Mentor’s story of Ulysses. In my original version I had given all the credit to Athene.
Robert Graves (Homer's Daughter)
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods--though the work was suppressed--'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses ,alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
(a) A writer always wears glasses and never combs his hair. Half the time he feels angry about everything and the other half depressed. He spends most of his life in bars, arguing with other dishevelled, bespectacled writers. He says very ‘deep’ things. He always has amazing ideas for the plot of his next novel, and hates the one he has just published. (b) A writer has a duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation; convinced, as he is, that he has been born into an age of mediocrity, he believes that being understood would mean losing his chance of ever being considered a genius. A writer revises and rewrites each sentence many times. The vocabulary of the average man is made up of 3,000 words; a real writer never uses any of these, because there are another 189,000 in the dictionary, and he is not the average man. (c) Only other writers can understand what a writer is trying to say. Even so, he secretly hates all other writers, because they are always jockeying for the same vacancies left by the history of literature over the centuries. And so the writer and his peers compete for the prize of ‘most complicated book’: the one who wins will be the one who has succeeded in being the most difficult to read. (d) A writer understands about things with alarming names, like semiotics, epistemology, neoconcretism. When he wants to shock someone, he says things like: ‘Einstein is a fool’, or ‘Tolstoy was the clown of the bourgeoisie.’ Everyone is scandalized, but they nevertheless go and tell other people that the theory of relativity is bunk, and that Tolstoy was a defender of the Russian aristocracy. (e) When trying to seduce a woman, a writer says: ‘I’m a writer’, and scribbles a poem on a napkin. It always works. (f) Given his vast culture, a writer can always get work as a literary critic. In that role, he can show his generosity by writing about his friends’ books. Half of any such reviews are made up of quotations from foreign authors and the other half of analyses of sentences, always using expressions such as ‘the epistemological cut’, or ‘an integrated bi-dimensional vision of life’. Anyone reading the review will say: ‘What a cultivated person’, but he won’t buy the book because he’ll be afraid he might not know how to continue reading when the epistemological cut appears. (g) When invited to say what he is reading at the moment, a writer always mentions a book no one has ever heard of. (h) There is only one book that arouses the unanimous admiration of the writer and his peers: Ulysses by James Joyce. No writer will ever speak ill of this book, but when someone asks him what it’s about, he can’t quite explain, making one doubt that he has actually read it.
Paulo Coelho
He was not convinced of the truth of the saying [] “The poet is born, not made” but he was quite sure of the truth of this at least: [] “The poem is made not born.
James Joyce (The Essential James Joyce (Including Novels & Critical Writings): Chamber Music, Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Exiles, Ulysses, Pomes Penyeach, Finnegans Wake & Stephen Hero)
One day in Auschwitz, the writer Primo Levi recited a canto of Dante’s Inferno to a companion, and the poem about hell reached out from six hundred years before to roll back Levi’s despair and his dehumanization. It was the canto about Ulysses, and though it ends tragically, it contains the lines You were not made to live like animals But to pursue virtue and know the world which he recited and translated to the man walking with him.
Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark)