IV.B.14.i: Occasional Verses
Three-Stanza Version of “Ecce Puer” (1932)
Material Description and Collation
The manuscript is a sheet of unlined gray paper. It is a typewritten double-spaced black ribbon top (original) copy, with some additions in black ink; the verso is presumably blank. The manuscript is pasted inside and on the lower half of a light green card folder that is folded in half horizontally; MS IV.B.14.ii is pasted on the upper half of the folder.
“_E_C_C_E_ _P_U_E_R_” is typed above the text.
The sheet measures approximately 27.1 x 21.0 cm.
The manuscript commemorates the birth of Stephen James Joyce (Giorgio and Helen Joyce’s son and Joyce’s grandson) on 15 February 1932 and the recent death of John Stanislaus Joyce (Joyce’s father) on 29 December 1931. This manuscript is a presumably earlier version of the poem that consists of only 3 stanzas (the third stanza from the published version is missing; otherwise the text is identical). As published in The Criterion, the second line of stanza 1 here reads: “A boy is born”.
There is a carbon typescript copy as well as a holograph copy in Joyce’s hand of this 3-stanza version of the poem as part of Jahnke bequest in the Zurich James Joyce Foundation.
The typist dated the sheet: “Paris 15 January | 1 9 3 2”.
“James Joyce” was typed below the poem. The typed full stops at the ends of stanzas 2 and 3 were changed to exclamation marks in black ink.
The manuscript has not been reproduced nor published in this form.
The edges of the sheet are ragged and worn; it was folded twice vertically and three times horizontally.
There is a note pasted to the front of the folder in Beach’s hand in black ink that reads: “2 | TYPESCRIPT COPIES | OF ECCE PUER | | Given to SB by J.J. February 15 | (January 1932) | On birth of grandson Stephen James | son of Giorgio and Helen Joyce February 15″. There is a further note about the manuscript in Beach’s hand with the folder.