APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: Two Poems by James Joyce

APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: Two Poems by James Joyce

A new Pocket Poets edition collects the significant poetry and the one surviving play of the novelist James Joyce. Here are two from his Pomes Penyeach, a small volume written while he was composing A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Watching the Needle Boats at San Sabba

 

I heard their young hearts crying

Loveward above the glancing oar

And heard the prairie grasses sighing:

No more, return no more!

 

O hearts, O sighing grasses,

Vainly your loveblown bannerets mourn!

No more will the wild wind that passes

Return, no more return.

 

Bahnhofstrasse

 

The eyes that mock me sign the way 

Whereto I pass at eve of day,

 

Grey way whose violet signals are

The trysting and the twining star.

 

Ah star of evil! star of pain!

Highhearted youth comes not again

 

Nor old heart's wisdom yet to know

The signs that mock me as I go.

 

Excerpt from Joyce © 2014 by Everyman's Library. Excerpted by permission of Everyman's Library, a division of Random House, LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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