Floating flower

Bloom thinks of his penis, "the limp father of thousands," as “a languid floating flower.” The image of a flower floating on the water evokes the plant that gives its name to this episode: Lotus Eaters. But the negative implication of the Homeric parallel (human rationality plunged into drugged stupor) seems to be balanced here by a positive suggestion (spiritual fulfillment arising from the depths of material embodiment).

Josh Wagner 2014

Source: www.atlantisqueen.co. The site notes the traditional iconographic depiction of the lotus as a plant whose roots rest in the mud of material existence but whose flower rises into "the bright sunshine of enlightenment."

The Ziziphus lotus, a thorny shrub that grows in the Mediterranean region. Birds and humans eat the fruit. Source: www.teline.fr.

The blue lotus or blue Egyptian water lily, Nymphaea caerula. Chewed or brewed into a tea, the flowers produce a mild sedative effect. Source: Wikimedia Commons.