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.
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!