James Joyce Poems

James JoyceJames Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish writer and poet, widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Along with Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and others, Joyce was a key figure in the development of the modernist novel. He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922). Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939).


Here, Some of his famous poems have been provided for you!



A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight

They mouth love’s language. Gnash

The thirteen teeth

Your lean jaws grin with. Lash

Your itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh.

Love’s breath in you is stale, worded or sung,

As sour as cat’s breath,

Harsh of tongue.

This grey that stares

Lies not, stark skin and bone.

Leave greasy lips their kissing. None

Will choose her what you see to mouth upon.

Dire hunger holds his hour.

Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears.

Pluck and devour!
They mouth love’s language. GnashThe thirteen teethYour lean jaws grin with. LashYour itch and quailing, nude greed of the flesh.Love’s breath in you is stale, worded or sung,As sour as cat’s breath,Harsh of tongue. This grey that staresLies not, stark skin and bone.Leave greasy lips their kissing. NoneWill choose her what you see to mouth upon.Dire hunger holds his hour.Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears.Pluck and devour!


The noon’s greygolden meshes make
All night a veil,
The shorelamps in the sleeping lake
Laburnum tendrils trail.

The sly reeds whisper to the night
A name– her name-
And all my soul is a delight,
A swoon of shame.

At That Hour

At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
The pale gates of sunrise?

When all things repose, do you alone
Awake to hear the sweet harps play
To Love before him on his way,
And the night wind answering in antiphon
Till night is overgone?

Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
Whose way in heaven is aglow
At that hour when soft lights come and go,
Soft sweet music in the air above
And in the earth below.


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.

Be Not Sad

Be not sad because all men
Prefer a lying clamour before you:
Sweetheart, be at peace again — –
Can they dishonour you?

They are sadder than all tears;
Their lives ascend as a continual sigh.
Proudly answer to their tears:
As they deny, deny.
James Joyce

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