Hedgehog

By Paul Muldoon b. 1951 Paul Muldoon
The snail moves like a
Hovercraft, held up by a
Rubber cushion of itself,
Sharing its secret

With the hedgehog. The hedgehog
Shares its secret with no one.
We say, Hedgehog, come out
Of yourself and we will love you.

We mean no harm. We want
Only to listen to what
You have to say. We want
Your answers to our questions.

The hedgehog gives nothing
Away, keeping itself to itself.
We wonder what a hedgehog
Has to hide, why it so distrusts.

We forget the god
under this crown of thorns.
We forget that never again
will a god trust in the world.

"Hedgehog" from Poems 1968-1998 by Paul Muldoon. Copyright © 2001 by Paul Muldoon. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. www.fsgbooks.com


Source: Poems 1968-1998 (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)

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Poet Paul Muldoon b. 1951

POET’S REGION Ireland

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Religion, Relationships, Pets, Christianity

 Paul  Muldoon

Biography

Paul Muldoon is one of Ireland's leading contemporary poets. He was born in Portadown, County Armagh and raised near The Moy, in Northern Ireland. Muldoon’s work is full of paradox: playful but serious, elusive but direct, innovative but traditional. He uses traditional verse forms such as the sonnet, ballad, and dramatic monologue, but alters their length and basic structure, and uses rhyme and meter in new ways. His work is . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Faith & Doubt, Religion, Relationships, Pets, Christianity

POET’S REGION Ireland

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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