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The Saturday poem: Recalculating


By Paul Muldoon


Arthritis is to psoriasis as Portugal is to Brazil.
Brazil is to wood as war club is to war.
War is to wealth as performance is to appraisal.
Appraisal is to destiny as urn is to ear.

Ear is to grasshopper as China is to DDT.
Tea is to leaf as journalist is to source.
Source is to leak as Ireland is to debt.
Debt is to honor as arthritis is to psoriasis.


Wait. Isn't arthritis to psoriasis as Brazil is to Portugal?
Portugal is to fado as Boaz is to Ruth.
Ruth is to cornfield as wave is to particle.


Particle is to beach as pebble is to real estate.
Realty is to reality as sky is to earth.
Earth is to all ye know as done is to dusted.

• From Songs and Sonnets by Paul Muldoon, published by Enitharmon Press (£9.99). To order a copy for £7.99 with free UK p&p call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846 or go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop

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