Licking the saucer clean

Nursery rhymes dance through Bloom's thoughts throughout the day, probably reflecting his experience as a devoted parent, but also suggesting childlike qualities in him, and an ad-man's propensity for jingles. Some nursery rhymes become freighted with textual significance, while others play a more incidental role in the fiction. Thornton identifies two seemingly slight allusions near the beginning of Calypso, and does not note a third possibility. Together with a more substantial allusion later in the chapter, these three rhymes all involve food.

John Hunt 2017

Illustration of Jack Sprat and his wife by American illustrator Frederick Richardson (1862-1937), date unknown. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

William Wallace Denslow's illustration of Little Tom Tucker, in Denslow's Mother Goose (1901). Source: Wikimedia Commons.