Having my way with Ulysses

Ruth red him, love led on with will to wander, loth to leave.

But the Saracens ne till not no vines, ne they drink no wine: for their books of their law, that Mahomet betoke them, which they clepe their AL KORAN, and some clepe it MESAPH, and in another language it is clept HARME, and the same book forbiddeth them to drink wine. For in that book, Mahomet cursed all those that drink wine and all them that sell it: for some men say, that he slew once an hermit in his drunkenness, that he loved full well; and therefore he cursed wine and them that drink it.10:03 pm

Surah 1132:  السردين، والخبز، والبيرة.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious,
                             Most Merciful.
1.  Proclaim! 
     Eat ye and drink ye
     To your heart’s content: 
     For that ye worked
2.  And among His Signs
     He shows you the lighting,
     By way both of fear
     And of hope.
3.  Enter houses
     Through the proper doors.
     And fear Allah:
     That ye may prosper.
4.  And Dixon shall bestow
     On him, of bread and sardines, 
     Anything he shall desire.
5.  And thy Lord taught the Bee
     To sting in men’s habitations.
6.  O ye who believe!
     Sayeth she,
     Approach not prayers
     with a mind befogged.
     Listen in silence
     So that you might be graced
     With God’s mercy.
7.  But they shall there exchange, 
     One poured into another,
     A (loving) cup
     Free of frivolity, 
     Free of all witness
     Of ill.
8.  And on the third day
     When the pains of childbirth
     Drove her to the trunk
     Of a palm tree: 
     She cried (in her anguish):
     Ah!  I expect each moment
     To be my next!
9.  And behold!
     Bloom’s hand, 
     Soft under a hen
10. But closer draws unto men
      Buck Mulligan: 
      And yet they remain
      Stubbornly heedless
      Of his approach.
11  And Stephen 
      With a mind
      The most befogged.

2 Responses to Ruth red him, love led on with will to wander, loth to leave.

  1. ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

    I really love Ulysses and I love the Qur’an even more and I want to understand the line you’ve titled this piece. Could I get a bit more explicit a clue?

    • The title comes from a section of Oxen of the Sun styled after Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory. The scene is a maternity hospital and a woman is about to give birth while a group of loud medical students, plus Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, are getting drunk. A nurse has just begged them to stop drinking and be quiet. She does this in a passage just before the one which is styled after The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, which gives a pretty fantastical account of travels through the middle east and Asia. The reference they make to “Mahound” in this paragraph prompted me to write this piece in the voice of the Qur’an and quote it for the image caption. The title line for this piece comes fom the Morte d’Arthur paragraph which comes just after, and this sentence is saying that even though he’d like to leave, Leopold Bloom is sticking with Stephen Dedalus right now out of compassion because Stephen is blind stinking drunk and needs somebody to look after him.

Intercourse, eyeball to eyeball.