"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Kubla Khan"

In "Calypso," the dreamlike quality of Leopold Bloom's journey to the butcher shop reflects the "Vision in a Dream" that Coleridge uses as an epigraph to describe his poem "Kubla Khan." The sudden implantation of the Middle East onto a Dublin Street, in Bloom's mind, has qualities of a vision. Since the episode takes place in early morning, the scene created in Bloom's imagination is similar to a dreamlike state. Bloom may also be directly referencing "Kubla Khan" by including a girl with a dulcimer in his vision, which corresponds to Coleridge's "damsel with a dulcimer." However, the language in "Calypso" is not quite as sublimely Romantic as Coleridge's poem, and is also self-conscious of the Orientalist style applied in "Kubla Khan." Bloom's imaginary trip east is not as fantastic as the ecstatic hallucinatory qualities of Coleridge's poem.

"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge