Saturday, October 16, 2004

The House of Poetry by Paul Muldoon

Lines in celebration of the first Dodge Poetry Festival held at Duke Farms
September 30 – October 3, 2004

That hole in the ground we took for a pit or pit-fall,
mine-shaft, the shaft of some long-stalled elevator,
the Anglo-Irish pile reduced to a dead wall
of doubt or redoubt, last bastion, bomb-crater

complete with barbed entanglements, long-raided tomb,
long-torched watchtower, torture-chamber, trip-wired man-trap,
or some long-abandoned communications room
with its still functional credibility gap

whereby what we once took for a hole in the ground ---
the very emblem of all that is unfulfilled ---
may yet offer you and me

a foundation for all that as yet unfound,
a blasted place on which we may yet build
and raise on what seemed razed the house of poetry.

Commissioned by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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