Hear An Army
by James Joyce
interpreted by Joe Tierney
hear an army charging upon the land,
the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their
in black armor, behind them stand,
the reins, with fluttering whips, the
cry unto the night their battle-name:
moan in sleep when i hear afar their whirling
cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,
clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.
come shaking in triumph their long, green hair:
come out of the sea and run shouting by the
heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?
love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?
Poet: James Joyce(1882-1941) was born in
Ireland. He went to a Catholic school and was educated by Jesuits. He
rebelled against traditional values. He left Ireland after graduating
from University College. When his mother died he moved to the continent.
In 1920 he moved to Paris. His works include Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man and Ulysses.
Vocabulary: Disdain - to reject with scorn;
Type of poem: Lyric
Audience: The audience refers to a specific group of people.
Not a general audience, but not a certain person. A special collection
Tone: The tone set changes three times in
the poem. It begins with a soft mood, and in a questioning manner. The
second tone is an angered one, yet still in questioning mode. The last
reverts back to the first tone of a soft and questioning mood.
Meaning: The author is trying to relate the fact of a lost
love and the idea of a lover being lost at sea. The quote My love,
me love, my love, why have you left me alone?(Joyce 597). Here it
supports the fact that the author is showing the loss of a love, for the
fact that he/she has been left alone, and he/she is now being found. The
idea of a lost lover.
Structure of poem: - Traditional
End Rhyme Pattern
Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:
love, my love, my love
Connection between the poem and the poet's life and/or
Most memorable quote from the poem: I hear an army charging
upon the land
© Smelli Notes 2001