Tag Archives: A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man

“Wounded pride and fallen hope and baffled desire.”

“Without waiting for his father’s questions he ran across the road and began to walk at breakneck speed down the hill. He hardly knew where he was walking. Pride and hope and desire like crushed herbs in his heart sent up vapours of maddening incense before the eyes of his mind. He strode down the hill amid the tumult of sudden risen vapours of wounded pride and fallen hope and baffled desire. They streamed upwards before his anguished eyes in dense and maddening fumes and passed away above him till at last the air was clear and cold again.”

— possibly my favorite quote from James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.”  I wanted to feature an Irish writer today, and Yeats’ “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” is already always plastered all over my social media.





“Once upon a time and a very good time it was …”

“Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. . . . His father told him that story: his father looked at him through a glass: he had a hairy face. He was a baby tuckoo. The moocow came down the road where Betty Byrne lived: she sold lemon platt.

“O, the wild rose blossoms On the little green place.

“He sang that song. That was his song.

“O, the green wothe botheth.

“When you wet the bed first it is warm then it gets cold. His mother put on the oil-sheet. That had the queer smell.”

— opening lines of “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” by James Joyce

For an excellent explanation of Joyce’s deliberate use of childlike language, see the Sparknotes page here:


I can still remember Longwood High School’s Mr. Anderson, the greatest English teacher ever to enter a classroom, reading this aloud for us.