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A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight
A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight underscores the anguish of aging and achieves its clarity of expression through its precise images. The “Players in the Mirror” likely refers to the English Players, a Zurich-based amateur theatrical company with which Joyce was involved during World War I.
It is available for high voice (soprano or tenor) and medium voice (mezzo-soprano or baritone). It is also part of my collection:
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!
James Joyce, 1882 - 1941