A woman sits at a desk writing a letter

Dear Henry

I got your last letter to me and thank you very much for it. I am sorry you did not like my last letter. Why did you enclose the stamps? I am awfully angry with you. I do wish I could punish you for that. I called you naughty boy because I do not like that other world. Please tell me what is the real meaning of that word? Are you not happy in your home you poor little naughty boy? I do wish I could do something for you. Please tell me what you think of poor me. I often think of the beautiful name you have. Dear Henry, when will we meet? I think of you so often you have no idea. I have never felt myself so much drawn to a man as you. I feel so bad about. Please write me a long letter and tell me more. Remember if you do not I will punish you. So now you know what I will do to you, you naughty boy, if you do not wrote. O how I long to meet you. Henry dear, do not deny my request before my patience are exhausted. Then I will tell you all. Goodbye now, naughty darling, I have such a bad headache. today. and write by return to your longing


P. S. Do tell me what kind of perfume does your wife use. I want to know.

He tore the flower gravely from its pinhold smelt its almost no smell and placed it in his heart pocket. Language of flowers. They like it because no-one can hear. Or a poison bouquet to strike him down. Then walking slowly forward he read the letter again, murmuring here and there a word. Angry tulips with you darling manflower punish your cactus if you don’t please poor forgetmenot how I long violets to dear roses when we soon anemone meet all naughty nightstalk wife Martha’s perfume. Having read it all he took it from the newspaper and put it back in his sidepocket.


the language of flowersI’m interested as to why Martha refers to Bloom as Henry both in the address of the letter and in the greeting. I assume it’s because of the clandestine nature of the letter’s contents, thus giving him an excuse if Molly ever finds it. I tried to find an answer, but came up with little. I did however find a very interesting article on the parallels between Milly’s letter and Martha’s letter both being a type of “bad writing” ( source ). It’s worth a read. I find Martha’s playful flirtation with Bloom to have a hint of danger. Particularly toward the end when she asks what kind of perfume Molly wears. This strikes me as a sort or reminder that he is married and that what they are doing is taboo, but also that she could expose it and get him into trouble. 

The next paragraph deals with the language of flowers which I assumed to be their different smells, but found out that each flower means different things. I even found a site that outlines them. (source ) The text only refers to the flower in the letter as “yellow” so I can’t really know what the meaning of it was in flower language. Using the flower language site I tried to decode his mumbling and it seems to be a sort of reciting of her letter with flowers filled in for words meaning, although this is just a theory.