A Tortoise

Paul Muldoon

Summer 2019

Try telling a dramatist the sky’s the limit
when an eagle has let fall a tortoise onto his bare skull.
Now Aeschylus will expire
without the opportunity to develop his skill
in single combat
 
or master basic hero-feats.
However emotionally detached,
a tortoise had it within it to be the sound box of a lyre
improvised by my friend, Joseph, in a last-ditch
effort to rise above the Gulag.
 
Given the Portuguese regained the fortress at Almeida
after the Treaty of Paris
it’s clear not every outcome is dire.

Paul Muldoon's new collection of poems, Frolic and Detour, is due to be published in September. His most recent books are Selected Poems 1968-2014, 2016, and Sadie and the Sadists, 2017.

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