Tag Archives: The Briefcase

Muldoon’s briefcase

“The Briefcase” was first published in 1990 as part of Paul Muldoon’s Madoc: A Mystery. Composed of rhythmic symmetry, “The Briefcase” is a sonnet with inverted rhyme, repeating outward from the central four lines. These four lines, which respectively close on “cloudburst”, “torrent”, “first” and “daren’t”, correlate to f-g f-g in the rhyme scheme. Looking at the poem’s rhyme from the beginning, we can trace it as follows: a-b-c-d e-f-g f-g-e-d c-b-a. Muldoon’s use of poetic symmetry in such a fashion provides us with our initial clue to the meaning of “The Briefcase”. Continue reading