Paul Muldoon


Griffin Poetry Prize 2003
International Winner

Book: Moy sand and gravel

Poet: Paul Muldoon

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Paul Muldoon reads The Loaf

The Loaf, by Paul Muldoon

The Loaf

When I put my finger to the hole they’ve cut for a dimmer
in a wall of plaster stiffened with horsehair
it seems I’ve scratched a two-hundred-year-old itch

with a pink and a pink and pinkie-pick.

When I put my ear to the hole I’m suddenly aware
of spades and shovels turning up the gain
all the way from Raritan to the Delaware

with a clink and a clink and clinky-click.

When I put my nose to the hole I smell the flood-plain
of the canal after a hurricane
and the spots of green grass where thousands of Irish have

with a stink and a stink and a stinky-stick.

When I put my eye to the hole I see one holding horse
    dung to the rain
in the hope, indeed, indeed,
of washing out a few whole ears of grain

with a wink and a wink and a winkie-wick.

And when I do at last succeed
in putting my mouth to the horsehair-fringed niche
I can taste the small loaf of bread he baked from that
    whole seed

with a link and a link and a linky-lick.

From Moy sand and gravel, by Paul Muldoon
Copyright © Paul Muldoon, 2002

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