Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Near Trieste there is an old entrance to Hades
Once popular with Romans but little-used now.
Stanislaus Joyce, stranded in the city
By his brother’s destiny, had entertained himself
By tracing the way there on maps he would make
Late at night and burn before going to sleep.
After he died, he haunted for a while the school
Where he’d long taught Irish-flavored English
To hapless Serbs and Italians, who loved him.
Many of them died in the war; their ghosts
Importuned him to come along with them
Down the Timavo River to where it feeds
Into the Styx. He hadn’t the heart to say no

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