To James Joyce


Wait selfish by the sea
for the ghost tide to lick its lips,
for the old stars to mourn.

Love turns endlessly,
and in the shore’s eclipse
a poem is born.

I had discovered Joyce’s Pomespenyeach and was amazed at the quality of four or five of the baker’s dozen therein. I reached the conclusion that he was more of a failed great poet than a great novelist. The extraordinary ocean of literature which surrounds us and in which to an extent we have our being has nourished me more than any mother’s milk, and will do so, I imagine, till the mind is no more.

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