Paul Muldoon: Critical Essays (Liverpool University Press - by Tim Kendall

By Tim Kendall

The essays during this booklet testify to the fascination of Paul Muldoon's poems, and in addition to their underlying contentiousness. The members see Muldoon from many various angles -- biographical, formal, literary-historical, widespread -- but in addition direct awareness to complicated moments of creativity during which a unprecedented quantity of originality is targeted, and at the readability of which much relies. of their other ways, the entire essays go back to the query of what a poem can 'tell' us, even if approximately its writer, approximately itself, or concerning the global within which it comes into being. The participants, even within the measure to which they convey to mild components of war of words approximately Muldoon's strengths and weaknesses, proceed a talk approximately what poems (and poets) can let us know which Paul Muldoon's paintings has made either compelling and fruitful.

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P. 56 Muldoon, ‘End of the Poem’, p. 2; citing Frost, Collected Poems, p. 815. ’1 ‘A historical dictionary should always be within a poet’s reach: preferably the big Oxford English Dictionary – the two-volume edition is insufficient’; ‘a single “trip” under psilocybin, the toxic derivation of a Mexican mushroom, can […] be most informative. It […] reveals in pictorial imagery the hidden terrors and aspirations of the […] mind’; ‘it is all done with mirrors […]. The intricate pattern [is made by] interlinked images of several round mirrors set at different angles to one another […].

1–29, at p. 17. 10 In the joke, the teller asks an old Mexican man if he knew Pancho Villa. The old man answers that he once encountered the revolutionary on a road; Pancho Villa pointed a LUP_Muldoon_02_Burt 23 26/12/03, 3:39 pm 24 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 LUP_Muldoon_02_Burt  :   gun at him, told him to drop his pants, then forced him to eat the products. The old Mexican then seized the gun and forced Pancho Villa to do likewise.

In the published version, the graveyard is described as the Digger’s ‘text’, and this term is crucial. Muldoon recalls in his inaugural Oxford lecture that Frost himself argued that a poem ‘is best read in the light of all other poems ever written’: We read A the better to read B (we have to start somewhere; we may get very little out of A). We read B the better to read C, C the better to read D, D the better to go back and get something more out of A. Progress is not the aim, but circulation. 36 This is, of course, aligned with the mainstream critical position that the very act of reading is an entering into a network of texts.

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