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  • Joyce: Poems and a Play
  • Written by James Joyce
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780375712333
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Joyce: Poems and a Play

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Synopsis|Table of Contents


This selection of the major poems James Joyce published in his lifetime is accompanied by his only surviving play, Exiles.

Joyce is most celebrated for his remarkable novel Ulysses, and yet he was also a highly accomplished poet. Chamber Music is his debut collection of lyrical love poems, which he intended to be set to music; in it, he enlivens the styles of the Celtic Revival with his own brand of playful irony. Pomes Penyeach, a collection written while Joyce was working on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, sounds intimately autobiographical notes of passion and betrayal that would go on to resonate throughout the rest of his work. Joyce’s other poems include the moving “Ecce Puer,” written on the occasion of the birth of his grandson, and his fiery satires “The Holy Office” and “Gas from a Burner.”

Exiles was written after Joyce had left Ireland, never to return; it is a richly nuanced drama that reflects a grappling with the state of his own marriage and career as he was about to embark on the writing of Ulysses. In its tale of an unconventional couple involved in a love triangle, Exiles engages Joycean themes of envy and jealousy, freedom and love, men and women, and the complicated relationship between an artist and his homeland.

Table of Contents

I Strings in the earth and air
II The twilight turns from amethyst
III At that hour when all things have repose
IV When the shy star goes forth in heaven
V Lean out of the window
VI I would in that sweet bosom be
VII My love is in a light attire
VIII Who goes amid the green wood
IX Winds of May, that dance on the sea
X Bright cap and streamers
XI Bid adieu, adieu, adieu
XII What counsel has the hooded moon
XIII Go seek her out all courteously
XIV My dove, my beautiful one
XV From dewy dreams, my soul, arise
XVI O cool is the valley now
XVII Because your voice was at my side
XVIII O Sweetheart, hear you
XIX Be not sad because all men.
XX In the dark pine-wood
XXI He who hath glory lost, nor hath
XXII Of that so sweet imprisonment
XXIII This heart that flutters near my heart
XXIV Silently she’s combing  
XXV Lightly come or lightly go
XXVI Thou leanest to the shell of night
XXVII Though I thy Mithridates were
XXVIII Gentle lady, do not sing
XXIX Dear heart, why will you use me so?
XXX Love came to us in time gone by
XXXI O, it was out by Donnycarney
XXXII Rain has fallen all the day
XXXIII Now, O now, in this brown land
XXXIV Sleep now, O sleep now
XXXV All day I hear the noise of waters  
XXXVI I hear an army charging upon the land
1 Tilly
2 Watching the Needleboats at San Sabba
3 A Flower Given to My Daughter
4 She Weeps over Rahoon
5 Tutto e` Sciolto
6 On the Beach at Fontana
7 Simples
8 Flood
9 Nightpiece
10 Alone
11 A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight
12 Bahnhofstrasse
13 A Prayer
ECCE PUER (1932) 
EXILES (1918) 
James Joyce

About James Joyce

James Joyce - Joyce: Poems and a Play
James Joyce, the twentieth century’s most influential novelist, was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882. The oldest of ten children, he grew up in a family that went from prosperity to penury because of his father’s wastrel behavior. After receiving a rigorous Jesuit education, twenty-year-old Joyce renounced his Catholicism and left Dublin in 1902 to spend most of his life as a writer in exile in Paris, Trieste, Rome, and Zurich. On one trip back to Ireland, he fell in love with the now famous Nora Barnacle on June 16, the day he later chose as “Bloomsday” in his novel Ulysses. Nara was an uneducated Galway girl who became his lifelong companion an the mother of his two children. In debt and drinking heavily, Joyce lived for thirty-six years on the Continent, supporting himself first by teaching jobs, then trough the patronage of Mrs. Harold McCormick (Edith Rockerfeller) and the English feminist and editor Harriet Shaw Weaver. His writings include Chamber Music (1907), Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Exiles (1918), Ulysses (1922), Pomes Penyeach (1927), Finnegan's Wake (1939), and an early draft of A Portrait of a Young Man, Stephan Hero (1944). Ulysses required seven years to complete, and his masterpiece, Finnegan's Wake, took seventeen. Both works revolutionized the form, structure, and content of the novel. Joyce died in Zurich in 1941.

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