POEM: A limerick for each of the 18 chapters of ‘Ulysses’: IGGY McGOVERNrhymes his way through Bloomsday

Buck Mulligan, plump and statelee,

Rags Stephen whose mum’s RIP.

The tower’s a kip,

Buck goes for a dip

In the scrotumtightening sea.

“Sir” Stephen shows weary regard

For someone who finds sums too hard.

His foot in his mouth,

Old Deasy’s uncouth

To our bullockbefriending bard.

Ineluctable modality

Plus a shaggy-dog fatality,

A bilingual rant,

La Plume de ma Tante?

A nose-picking finality.

Inner organs of beasts and fowls,

A letter from Blazes, Bloom scowls,

Its import denied,

A kidney is fried,

An effortless movement of bowels.

A letter from Martha – Bloom’s joy

Is tempered by meeting McCoy.

No rent for the pope,

Buy lotion and soap,

A flower for one naughty boy.

A road race to quicken the dead

And put Paddy Dignam to bed.

Parnell, the old fox,

Is not in his box;

He died of a Tuesday, ’tis said.

Fresh from omnium gatherums

Of Nelson’s and Freeman’s columns,

Our Stephen is led

To the boosing shed

By the Parable of the Plums

While gastronome Leopold spurns

The Burton for chic Davy Byrnes,

Gorgonzola and red

Wine gone to the head,

Reels into the Library by turns

Where Stephen has taken the floor

To lecture on cold Elsinore.

The last Will is read

On second-best bed,

Then Exeunt All out the door.

Father Conmee, the Dignam boy

And the (doublin’) hoi polloi

Criss-cross in the street,

Some Dedali meet,

All strain to salute the Viceroy.

Two barmaids discuss cons and pros

Of marriage to “the greasy nose”.

By cider and Powers

There’s more talk of flowers

And somebody sings The Last Rose.

The Heroes of Ireland crowd in

The court of RM Citizen.

Maligned as a cheat,

Bloom’s forced to retreat

Pursued by a dog-biscuit tin.

While Gerty conceives of astriction

The strains of Retreat Benediction

Cross Sandymount Strand;

Self taken in hand,

Bloom limply can mark her affliction.

A visit to Mrs Purefoy

The medics press Bloom to enjoy,

Full many a glass

Of No 1 Bass

To Burke’s, at the news of a boy.

Nightsdream about women and wine

Enlivened by costume design.

The leg of a duck

Earns Stephen a puck,

The Horse has the neigh-saying line.

A refuge from Cissies and malt,

The Cabman’s night shelter their halt,

SD will have none

Of coffee and bun

Nor Bloom the tall tales of a salt.

Bloom, keyless, climbs over the gate,

Relief as they bi-urinate.

Tell-tale potted meat

On fresh linen sheet

Where Blazes has shifted his weight.

Now Molly’s awake in the bed

With lots of bad thoughts in her head.

To finish she’ll say,

Sure, fine, right, okay,

Henceforth, you can take that as read!

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