Sean O’Casey’s Little Cloud
The poet manqué respects no geographical boundaries. He is as likely to turn up in Dublin as he is in Paris, crossing a bridge over the Liffey rather than the Seine. He might well be attired in the business suit of the urban bourgeois, as W. H. Auden, in one of his more ominous moments, recommended for the revolutionary poet determined to disguise himself from the enemy. But the clothes may indeed make the man, and trapped in his bourgeois garb the aspiring poet is often the prisoner of his everyday paraphernalia, a poetic soul striving to break out. Thomas Malone Chandler in James Joyce’s “A Little Cloud” is just such a timid soul. His domestic life is proscribed by a pretty-faced wife and an infant child, his workday governed by his hours as a clerk doing his “tiresome writing” at the King’s Inns. In the short respite between work and home Chandler anticipates an unusual diversion, an hour or so over drinks with a former acquaintance at the bar of an elegant restaurant.
KeywordsNortheast Quadrant Infant Child Business Suit Poetic Inspiration Collect Play
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