"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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.