Poems of the Week


by Julia Griffin

“Plan to exhume James Joyce’s remains fires international ‘battle of the bones’.”
—The Guardian

As Bloom desired his kidneys (“his”
For breakfast, not dialysis),
Or as he longed for Molly’s heart
(Her least outrageous longed-for part):
Like him, his countrymen now yearn
For Joyce’s long-delayed return.
They want to have him nicely packed
And handled with respect and tact;
The son his land so proudly owns
Is not some common heap of bones.
Will Zurich give him up? They might
At least be moved by Dublin’s plight—
This urge to honor and anoint
Which somehow seems to miss the point.
Once someone craved to kiss the hand
That wrote Ulysses. “Understand,”
Replied that literary prince,
“It has had other duties since.”