Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Calypso/055
"Potato I have." Bloom carries a potato in his pocket in the superstitious belief that it will ward off disease. The superstition may be rooted (pun intended, obviously) in the belief that growing potatoes improves the quality of the soil in which they are grown, ensuring that subsequent crops grown in that soil are less prone to disease. The irony of this superstition in a country which suffered greatly as a result of potato blight should be obvious.