JOYCE, JamesCollected Poems of James JoyceN.Y. Black Sun Press, 1936. First edition, deluxe issue, one of 50 copies printed on Japan vellum and signed by Joyce. Slocum & Cahoon A44. Collected Poems includes poems previously published in Chamber Music and Pomes Penyeach, but its primary distinction is in being the first appearance of Joyce’s finest and most moving poem, “Ecce Puer”, which Joyce wrote on February 15, 1932, the day his grandson, Stephen James Joyce, was born. In “Ecce Puer”, however, Joyce’s joy at his grandson’s birth is subdued by grief over the recent death of his father, John Joyce, who had died on December 29, 1931, and the poem ends: “A child is sleeping; / An old man gone. / O, father forsaken, / Forgive your son!” As Joyce wrote to T. S. Eliot, “He had an intense love for me and it adds anew to my grief and remorse that I did not go to Dublin to see him for so many years.” Joyce had not seen his father in eleven years, and confided to Harriet Weaver that “It is not his death that crushed me so much as self-accusation.” – Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (N. Y.: Oxford University Press, 1959), pp. 656-659..... (more)
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