Bonnie's Reviews > Poems 1968-1998

Poems 1968-1998 by Paul Muldoon
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Jul 04, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: short-story-or-poetry-collections
Read in January, 2004

I read this when I was getting my degree in English literature. The class was called 'Death and Otherness,' and featured the poems of Muldoon, and 2 books by Coetzee. (The professor just happened to know both of them during her time teaching at Columbia University. Otherwise, the connection between Muldoon and Coetzee is a tenuous one at best.) It's easy for me to say I liked the Muldoon part of the class better than the Coetzee part, since I *loathed* Waiting for the Barbarians.

Anyway, Muldoon's poems have a dreamy, many layered quality that make them ripe for disecting. There are always multiple interpretations--although when your professor is constantly saying, "no. I was there when he wrote that one, and it meant..." it kind of takes the fun out of it. He's Irish, and, when reading the poems aloud, you fall into the cadence and it starts to *sound* Irish. I was always amazed by that. Also, if you like Yeats, you'll probably like Muldoon, since he's very much a modernized Yeats in style.
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