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16 October 2014
Poetry - Study Ireland

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Paul Muldoon

 

 

Why Brownlee Left

Why Brownlee left, and where he went,
Is a mystery even now.
For if a man should have been content
It was him; two acres of barley,
One of potatoes, four bullocks,
A milker, a slated farmhouse.
He was last seen going out to plough
On a March morning, bright and early.

By noon Brownlee was famous;
They had found all abandoned, with
The last rig unbroken, his pair of black
Horses, like man and wife,
Shifting their weight from foot to
Foot, and gazing into the future.

Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh and grew up on a farm near The Moy, County Tyrone. He worked as a radio producer for the BBC in Belfast. He moved to the USA in 1987 and now lives in New Jersey where he teaches at Princeton University. His collections include New Weather, Mules, Why Bownlee Left, Quoof, Meeting the British, The Annals of Chile, Hay and New Selected Poems. In 1993 he won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Moy Sand and Gravel. The Muldoon poem in this selection is Why Brownlee Left.

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