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BLOOMSDAY: 16 June 1904


“`He was courteous but very silent. He was good with children. His eyesight may have been impaired, but he had an ear open to the world.” This is how Alex Leon recalls James Joyce, who, between 1928 and 1939 was an almost daily visitor to his family’s flat on the rue Casimir-Perier in Paris. Joyce came to consult with Alex’s father, Paul Leon…” ‘The Irish Times’, Thu, Oct 29, 1998


Holocaust memorial image: Il 27 gennaio l’amore

A way, a lone, a last, a loved
Paul Léon murdered in 1942,
In Auschwitz, Oświęcim, Poland.

A Jew, he was Joyce’s friend,
The Joyce of Dublin & Galway,
Trieste, Zurich & Paris
And, off course, Anna L’Liffey,
She who riverrun on & on,
Even till the Finnegans’ wake.

Joyce lived in Paris for twenty years
He was poor but every time he had money
He always paid for everyone in every bar,
Every taxi, every restaurant.

Paul Léon heard Joyce’s leery voice
As he drank his white wine
On his day of Atonement.

And, like Molly,
Faithful sorry you was
At the ten year break
Between you two.

You returned to Paris,
To sort out Joyce’s papers,
After he was dead,
And the Gestapo arrested you in ‘42:
And you ended your life
A shadow
Of that other wandering Jew.


Anny-Yolande Horowitz

Born on June 2, 1933 in Strasbourg. Last lived at 21, rue Rode, Bordeaux. Interned in the Lalande camp near Tours and then transferred to Drancy. From there, she, her mother Frieda, and her sister Paulette, age 7, were deported on Sept. 11, 1942 on Convoy 31. Their destination: Auschwitz-Birkenau. The same infernal destination as was forced upon Paul Léon by Sadistischer Nazi-Abschaum .

◄ The Incidentals

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John Marks

Thu 17th Jun 2021 21:51

Thank you Stephen A, Holden and Jay. Stephen G, it was a difficult poem to write. I re-worked it many times, from the 1980s onwards. I am glad you could see merit in it. John

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 16th Jun 2021 16:18


Difficult to add anything but thank you for this.

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