Waters come down

"O Jesus wait yes that thing has come on me yes now wouldnt that afflict you": near the end of her 6th sentence, Molly realizes that her period has started (pun intended), and for well more than a page her thoughts center on menstruation. At the end of the sentence, as she sits on the chamber pot listening to it "pouring out of me like the sea," she inexactly remembers the beginning of a poem by Robert Southey: "O how the waters come down at Lahore." Together with an expression just a little earlier, "O Jamesy," the allusion involves meta-fictive self-reference on Joyce's part.

JH 2019

"O how the waters come down at Lahore," Richard Hamilton's 1988 pencil drawing with watercolor washes based on a frame from Sorcha Cusack's performance as Molly in a 1988 documentary on Ulysses. Source: Imaging James Joyce's Ulysses.

"O how the waters come down at Lahore," 1988 aquatint print by Hamilton. Source: Imaging James Joyce's Ulysses.

Oil on canvas portrait of Robert Southey ca. 1795 by Peter Vandyke, held in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Lodore Falls at high flow. Source: www.visitcumbria.com.