IV.B.14.ii: Occasional Verses
“Ecce Puer” (1932)
Material Description and Collation
The manuscript is a sheet of unlined gray paper. It is a typewritten double-spaced purple ribbon bottom (carbon) copy; the verso is presumably blank. The manuscript is pasted inside and on the upper half of a light green card folder that is folded in half horizontally; MS IV.B.14.i is pasted on the lower half of the folder.
“ ECCE PUER . ” 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) on 15 February 1932 and the recent death of John Stanislaus Joyce on 29 December 1931. As published in The Criterion, the second line of stanza 1 here reads: “A boy is born”.
There is a variant 4-stanza typescript version of the poem as part of Jahnke bequest in the Zurich James Joyce Foundation.
The typist dated the sheet: “Paris,February,15, 1932.”
“James Joyce” was typed below the poem.
The manuscript has not been reproduced, but a similar though not identical typescript version has been reproduced on JJA 1.347 (from the Firestone Library, Princeton University). The 4-stanza version of the poem was published in the New Republic (New York; LXXIII.932; 30 November 1932) p. 70 (Slocum and Cahoon C86); in The Criterion (London; XXII.47; January 1933), p. 184 (Slocum and Cahoon C87); and first anthologized in Collected Poems (New York: The Black Sun Press, 1936), p. lxv (Slocum and Cahoon A44). It has also been published in PSW, p. 67.
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.