Extraordinary Rendition— Paul Muldoon
Dylan Niemann and Manuel Sherbakoff
Wednesday 4 December 2013, 5 p.m. section
I gave you back my claim on the mining town
and the rich vein we once worked,
the tumble down
from a sluice box that irked
you so much, the narrow gauge
that opened up to one and all
when it ran out at the landing stage
beyond the falls.
I gave you back oak ties,
bully flitches, the hand-hewn crossbeams
from which hung hardtack
in a burlap bag that, I'd surmise,
had burst its seams
the last night we lay by the old spur track.
You gave me back your frown
and the most recent responsibility you'd shirked
along with something of your renown
for having jumped from a cage just before it jerked
to a standstill, your wild rampage
shot through with silver falderals,
the speed of that falling cage
and the staidness of our canyon walls.
You gave me back lake skies,
pulley glitches, gully pitches, the reflected gleams
of two tin plates and mugs in the shack,
the echoes of love sighs
and love screams
our canyon walls had already given back.
This poem was published in 2010
Many ways to read the poem. No true answer. Who do you think
I in the poem is referring to?
Iin the poem = Paul Muldoon, or a common man speaking to Ireland?
Other discussion points
the rich vein we once workedmean? (tradition of Irish poetry, nationalism?)
Discussion of the title. See Wikipedia's article on Extraordinary Rendition for background information.
I) vs the second stanza which is about someone else (
Youcould refer to a friend, possibly one who worked at the mine
Icould possibly Ireland itself, offering its resources to an individual