Intertextuality In Gathering Mushling By Muldoon

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The poem’s intertextuality is evident in referring to Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis, who was impregnated by Zeus. She was rejected by everyone in her travels seeking refuge from Hera’s wrath and for fear of having so great a God like Apollo born in their lands. Muldoon believes that she is an outsider who has been punished unfairly and this explains her quick punishment of those who do not treat her nicely. Holdridge asserts that “The idea that one is cursed to suffer in a place because one has failed to perform the essential duties of humanity is at the root of Northern problems and the poem’s meditations” (76) and this is the origin and structure of Greek tragedy.
It is not only mythology that plays a significant role in Muldoon’s poem,
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Quite modestly she answered me and she gave me her head one fetch up and she said 1 am gathering musheroons to make my mammy ketchup.

And she said 1 am gathering musheroons to make my mammy ketchup O. (L. 491-504)

It then becomes clear that the voyage has become to nowhere and the action has become all action including sex, violence and travelling. The pastiche reminds the readers of the songs sung in a Las Vegas revue and the readers reache the poem’s title line which becomes so urgent, so powerful and so undeniable: “The more a man has the more a man wants”

The more a man has the more a man wants, the same 1 don't think true.
For 1 never met a man with one black eye who ever wanted two.
In the Las Vegas Lounge and Cabaret the resident group - pot bellies, Aran knits - have you eating out of their hands.
Never throw a brick at a drowning man when you're near to a grocer's store.
Just throw him a cake of Sunlight soap, let him wash himself
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Putzel (106) question who actually died: is it Gallogly or Magnas Jones? Putzel writes that during a poetry reading, Muldoon warned his audience against expecting his poems to have conclusions, “final chords or the snap of a lid” and for readers to get any conclusion for the poem, they have to go beyond the “Huh” (L. 687), the last word in the poem. So, as the readers proceed, Muldoon’s warning must be kept in their minds. Hence, according to Putzel, “The More a Man Has” is a complex and difficult poem that baffle the readers and Muldoon expects them to enjoy such bafflement

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