Pomes Penyeach

I was looking for the little chapbook, Pomes Penyeach, by James Joyce that I bought in the seventies at Middle Earth Books in Philly, but I can’t find it. I really have had a hankering for the Pomes. This afternoon dangling from a ladder at The Strand, I found Joyce’s Collected Poems with Pomes Penyeach in it for $15, a little steep, but I high-fived a young blond fellow poetry seeker at the bottom of the ladder who smiled and seemed to understand. I also tried to find Gregory Corso, but he couldn’t be found although I ran into Dennis Cooper and Alfred Corn, a pleasant surprise.

I have Pomes Penyeach at my fingertips again. It’s not like reading it on the Internet where the whole world can join in. I took it to the East River, sat down, looked at Brooklyn, the sea gulls gliding toward the Williamsburg Bridge, the water glistening and started to read, just Joyce and me.

As I was reading, “On the Beach at Fontana,” l noticed something I hadn’t seen before. I remembered “slimeslivered” stones, not “slimesilvered,” and am thinking my twenties were probably more slivered than silvered.

For me, “On the Beach at Fontana,” is one of the great love poems. I like it so much that I recorded it in the Vimeo below. Enjoy.


Ha Ha. As luck would have it, I just found Pomes Penyeach in a bowl with a bunch of postcards and some of my own chapbooks where I should have thought to look in the first place. Looking for something else and there it was.



James Joyce


  1. Great poem Don…thanks..I have that little book…my poetry channel on youtube is poemsapennyeach…I wanted to spell it the JJ way…but YT would not let me !!

  2. lally

    a perfect ending to my day, so let me add my gratitude for posting…

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