James Joyce is most celebrated for his remarkable novel Ulysses, and yet he was also an accomplished poet. Chamber Music, his debut collection, fused the styles of the Celtic Revival with his own brand of ironic exuberance. Pomes Penyeach, a collection written when Joyce had published Dubliners and was completing A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, explores intimate themes of adultery, jealousy, and betrayal that would reappear transformed in the later Ulysses. Joyce's occasional verse includes the well-known "Ecce Puer," written for his newborn grandson, and his satirical poems "The Holy Office" and "Gas from a Burner." These poems are brought together here with Joyce's play, Exiles--about an unconventional couple involved in a love triangle--in a beautiful, accessible hardcover edition for the general reader.
James Joyce was born on 2 February 1882 in Dublin. He studied modern languages at University College, Dublin. After graduating, Joyce moved to Paris for a brief period in 1902. In 1904 Joyce met Nora Barnacle, with whom he would spend the rest of his life and they moved to Europe and settled in Trieste where Joyce worked as a teacher. His first published work was a book of poems called Chamber Music (1907). This was followed by Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and the play Exiles (1918). In 1915 the First World War forced Joyce and Nora and their two children to move to Zurich. Joyce's most famous novel, Ulysses, was published in Paris in 1922. In the same year he started work on his last great book, Finnegan's Wake (1939). James Joyce died in Zurich on 13 January 1941.