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Joyce in 100 Objects: Pomes Penyeach

We know Joyce primarily as a prose writer and novelist, but he did publish two slight volumes of poetry: Chamber Music in 1907 and Pomes Penyeach in 1927. The latter contains thirteen short pieces of verse written roughly between 1904 and 1924. Ezra Pound found them generally unremarkable and though they contain a few linguistic experiments, they lack the radical innovation characteristic of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.

Tpomes2his volume was published by Shakespeare and Co. in July 1927. Like Ulysses, the initial run (5,013 copies) was printed on different qualities of paper with the first impressions offered to collectors and friends. This is number 2 of 13 that were printed on hand-made Dutch paper and that Joyce inscribed to his friend and patron, Harriet Shaw Weaver. The book itself is relatively small, measuring only 12.7 x 13.2cm.

Images courtesy of McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and Mason Whitehorn Powell.