"WHY BROWNLEE LEFT, which won the Faber Memorial Prize, established (Muldoon's) reputation. In the title poem, a sonnet, Muldoon plays with one of the classic images from Irish literature, the farmer with his plow. WHY BROWNLEE LEFT, however, contains not a farmer and plow, but a plow mysteriously abandoned: "Why Brownlee left, and where he went is a mystery even now." Instead of solving the mystery, the poem focuses on the things Brownlee abandoned: his farm and team of horses who stand listlessly without knowing what to do." - Encyclopedia of British Writers, 19th and 20th Centuries