Writing of Paul, Muldoon's last collection, The Annals of Chile, for which he won the T. S. Eliot Prize, Seamus Heaney described him as one of the era's true originals. A. S. Byatt has spoken of Muldoon as an original genius, using words in a new way, witty and profound.That combination of wit and profundity is everywhere apparent in Hay, an ...
Writing of Paul, Muldoon's last collection, The Annals of Chile, for which he won the T. S. Eliot Prize, Seamus Heaney described him as one of the era's true originals. A. S. Byatt has spoken of Muldoon as an original genius, using words in a new way, witty and profound.That combination of wit and profundity is everywhere apparent in Hay, an extraordinarily vital, and various new collection that contains the most open and inviting as well as some of the most satisfying poems Muldoon has ever written. They range from a dream-vision in a New Jersey mudroom to a poem based on English and American proverbs to another taking the form of an errata slip to a sequence of thirty sonnets set in a Paris restaurant where it seems a waiter finds a muldoon -- a stolen credit card -- belonging to Mr. Muldoon.By turns glorious and gritty, elegant and edgy, this new book is sure to bring even wider acclaim for the much-laurelled Irish wonder-poet (The Independent on Sunday, London) who began as a prodigy and has gone on to become a virtuoso (Michael Hofmann, The Times, London).
Publishers Weekly, 1998-06-29 More than two decades ago, Seamus Heaney wrote of his former student Paul Muldoon that his "hermetic tendency" can lead him "into puzzles rather than poems." Since then, Muldoon has evolved into a kind of anti-Heaney, creating poetic puzzles of daunting erudition and fascinating complexity, while sharpening his teacher's capacious humor into a dazzling wit. If Northern Irish poets are expected to write Wordsworthian lyric verse about their rural childhoods, Muldoon instead composes allusively postmodern, cosmopolitan poetry. Having won Britain's prestigious T.S. Eliot prize for his last collection, The Annals of Chile, Muldoon (who teaches at Princeton) here continues to amaze and bewilder readers in equal measure with his bravura. "Errata" consists entirelyŠin the spirit of Nabokov's Pale FireŠof a proofreader's corrections to a faulty set of galleys: "For `Steinbeck' read `Steenbeck.'/ For `ludic' read `lucid.'" Not all of Hay is so stylistically showy. "Anonymous: Myself and Pangur" is a faithful translation of an utterly charming 9th-century Irish poem drawing parallels between the craft of the scholar-poet and his white cat: "Pangur going in for the kill/ with all his customary skill/ while I, sharp-witted, swift, and sure,/ shed light on what had been obscure." And striking a more demotic note is Muldoon's verse cycle on a series of favorite rock albums, from the Rolling Stones to Nirvana, no less exuberant. As much at home in mainstream pop culture as in the obscure corners of the literary tradition, sharp-witted Muldoon both parodies and honors with panache. (Sept.)
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