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The Word on the Street: Rock Lyrics

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A vibrant new collection of poems—that also double as rock songs—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet

In his new book of rock lyrics, Paul Muldoon goes back to the essential meaning of the term “lyric”—a short poem sung to the accompaniment of a musical instrument. These words are written for music most assuredly, with half an ear to Yeats’s ballad-singing porter drinkers a
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Jeff Larsen
Muldoon's poetry, like all good poetry, must be read aloud to be appreciated. Unlike the rest of the good poetry, having access to an encyclopedia is recommended for the dozens of allusions made in nearly every poem.

This collection is exactly as described: a set of rock lyrics, most of which have been set to music by Muldoon and his band, Wayside Shrines (buying the book allows readers to download the MP3 album for free). My favorite poems/lyrics/tracks include the title track, "Julius Caesar W
Aseem Kaul
Muldoon's new collection amply demonstrates his gift for exquisite silliness - his ability to write poems with just enough wit and virtuosity to escape being mere doggerel. It's a gift best experienced in moderation, though, and Word on the Street rapidly comes to feel repetitive and cloying. The sense of a poet trying to hard to be cool, combined with the lack of authentic feeling, mean that the book ends up feeling more like a clever party trick than a poetry collection.

I had fun reading The
witty wordplay, but otherwise pretty trite.
Jon Ezelle
The line between poetry and song is undone here. These rock lyrics pass over many boundaries. You can hear them performed by the
Barry Wightman
Why can't I write great song lyrics like a Pulitzer Prize winner? Huh? Tell me that.
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Born in Northern Ireland, Muldoon currently resides in the US and teaches at Princeton University. He held the chair of Professor of Poetry at Oxford University from 1999 through 2004. In September 2007, Muldoon became the poetry editor of The New Yorker.

1992: Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for Madoc: A Mystery
1994: T. S. Eliot Prize for The Annals of Chile
1997: Irish Times Irish Literature
More about Paul Muldoon...
Moy Sand and Gravel The Faber Book Of Beasts Poems 1968-1998 Horse Latitudes The Best American Poetry 2005

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