When Molly recalls Bloom taking her out in a seagoing rowboat at Bray, the memory of that alarming misadventure prompts an association between her fine clothes and the fish she used to see on the docks growing up in Gibraltar: "I couldnt even change my new white shoes all ruined with the saltwater and the hat I had with that feather all blowy and tossed on me how annoying and provoking because the smell of the sea excited me of course the sardines and the bream in Catalan bay round the back of the rock they were fine all silver in the fishermens baskets old Luigi near a hundred they said came from Genoa." Many of the details here––a well-dressed lady, piles of beautiful silver fish, childhood, an Italian name––suggest an allusion to one of Ezra Pound's finest short lyrics.

John Hunt 2024

  2013 photograph by Joe Fox of a crate of sardines at a local market in Tarragona, Catalonia. Source:

2019 photograph by André Delfosse of sardines in Marseille. Source:

Detail of a painting of a Victorian woman by the sea, artist and date unknown. Source:

Beached rowboats at Bray, in a recent photograph. Source: