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Poems 1968-1998 Hardcover – Special Edition, 1 May 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Limited edition edition (1 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571207197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571207190
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 0.3 x 0.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,167,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'Among discriminating readers of new poetry, no one's stock is any higher than Paul Muldoon's...For sheer fun, verve, wickedness and grace, he has no rivals.' Michael Hofmann, The Times Drawing on Paul Muldoon's eight major collections, Poems 1968-1998 allows readers old and new to take the full measure of the writer whose 'influence on the otherwise torpid aesthetics of post-war poetry alone makes him the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War.' (Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement) 'Muldoon's technical resources - his formal imagination, range of allusion, lexical abundance and rhyming panache - have only expanded with the years, and the wit that deploys them is sharper than ever.' Mick Imlah, Observer 'No other poet now writing charts so gracefully that narrow track between open and closed form, tradition and innovation.' Michael Donaghy, Sunday Times"

About the Author

Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh in 1951. He read English at Queen's University, Belfast, and while he was at university Faber published his first collection of poems. In 1999 he became the Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States; he is the Howard G.B. Clark Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By the whitless weddings on 10 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
This collection is necessary for anyone interested in the poetry of the last forty years. I guarantee any casual reader starting this book - and reading through - that you will find gems, wonderful, lyrical moments to begin with: then Muldoon finding his way through the poem as story. The first third of this book ought to be enshrined somewhere, somewhere leadlined where it will survive any sudden armageddon. Cuba, Bran, Quoof... the immaculate precise poems that only Muldoon has ever produced are really very special. As for the second two thirds of this book... Muldoon takes a different road in the mid to late 80s, some will wish to follow it - everyone should read what came before it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By shakedogshake on 9 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Premier league poetry from premier league poet. Buy and read hard and then read again. The rest of this is for the word count.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on 16 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
It's a pity his publishers allowed a poet so pedantic (and pop-culture-savvy) not only to get away with a misspelt Olive Oyl (I regret I no longer have the page reference) but to give us a blood-curdling 'hove' for heave at the top of page 373 and omit the accent over 'mas' on page 384 (without the accent it means 'but', not 'more'). It wouldn't have happened in Eliot's day. Ah well - thus do our idols lose their mojo. He retains his complement of stars, though there is the little matter of that worryingly superfluous-looking 'of' on page 439.. dare one read on?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Glibly Great~Greatly Glib 29 Nov. 2002
By Teop Tnomrev - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If glibness can be elevated to greatness, then (as critics like to say), Muldoon has no peer. But that's a big "if". I picked up this volume based on a recent New York Times article where I read that (just in case you haven't heard yet) he is a Professor of Poetry at both Oxford and Princeton, having been inducted into the former at the tender age of 20. Surely, dear reader, you must know by now the unparalleled list of professorial poets produced by Oxford & Princeton? Need I name names?
I nevertheless like Pual Muldoon's poetry. I recommend it and it's fun to read, but his book of poems from 1968-1998 could hardly be considered a string of pearls.
What you will and won't get.
His is like snapshot poetry. Don't expect extended metaphor, conceits, or any overall development in the way of imagery or narrative. His is a quick wit and quick eye. Reading his poem is like setting fire to a box of matches. There's no smoldering pathos hear. His fire leaps from matchtip to matchtip, word to word, until the whole of it goes up in an exciting little burst of flames.
His poetry has been compared to Donne, but similarities are thin. For example, Donne was singularly known for the difficulty of his metrical writing. Expect no metrical daring from Muldoon. He doesn't write by numbers. Muldoon's difficulty can be summed up, I think, by this tidy comparison. Reading Muldoon is like listening to someone else's phone conversation. You will only ever hear half the conversation.
The earlier books in this collected poems are the most accessible and, in certain ways, the more enjoyable. You'll find those matchtip lines like: "Once you swallowed a radar-blip/of peyote/you were out of your tree..." This makes for fun reading.
The book "Madoc: A Mystery", however, dating from 1990 indulges in a stellar example of poetic onanism. Clearly, the writing of Madoc brought great pleasure to the author, but I personally doubt this book will mean much to anyone not having a fetish for erudite cleverness. Clearly, the Princetion professor Muldoon is having a long distance conversation with his Oxford counterpart. You will have to wiretap if you really want to get this stuff. For example:
"[Galen]
"It transpires that Bucephalus is even now
"pumping jet
"of spunk into the rowdy-dow-dow
"of some hoity-toity little skewbald jade."
Get it? If you do, this bud is for you.
The final book "Hay", is the best of them. Even if a portion of the poems strike one as little more than deliciously worded doggerel, the fun of Muldoon's wit evens the whole of it out. "I've upset the pail/in which my daughter had kept/her five-`No, six'-snails." Substitute "reader" for "daughter" and you get the idea.
By the way, did you know he was professor of poetry at Princeton AND Oxford???
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I love Paul Muldoon... 29 Jun. 2004
By Elizabeth Easton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
...I really do. The common criticism of Muldoon is that his constant use of mythical/literary allusion and Irish colloquial vocabulary makes him very difficult (if not impossible) to understand. I would argue, however, that this is Muldoon's point, especially in regards to his many elegies. Muldoon himself cannot access and express the depth of his mourning, and the diffult language he exposes the reader to assures that his feeling of insufficiency is not lost on anyone else. In my view, this is a brilliant and beautiful approach to modern elegy.
All of that being said, it is impossible not to get lost in Muldoon's beautiful language and rhythm. Reading even one verse of a Muldoon poem can keep me going for a whole day. Don't read him if you're afraid of doing a little thinking, but keep in mind that not all of his allusions are meant to be understood. Just enjoy.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Poet of the First Order 18 April 2002
By Nessander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first encountered Paul Muldoon when he came to my university to give a reading and a seminar talk. When I picked up a photocopied packet of his poems and started to read through them, I was confused, then intrigued, then thrilled. When Muldoon arrived a few days later for the poetry reading and the seminar discussion, I was further impressed by this wonderful man, who has a deep understanding of poetry and language.
These poems are not "easy". Many of them require multiple readings to begin to understand them (although some are quite straightforward, but these are rare). However, Muldoon's use of language, his sense for sounds, his near-obsession with rhyme, and his inventiveness are qualities so far above most other contemporary poets that, well, what can I say? He's the real thing. Today, like Geoffrey Hill, he's very well regarded in the UK, and virtually unknown in the USA. This is tragic. A century from now, the names of Hill and Muldoon will be known, and most US poets will be forgotten - but that's another topic.
If you like difficult but beautiful poetry, pick this up. If you are into pretty easy, conversational verse that you can grasp from a first reading - stay away!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
half-rating for a half-great book 18 Aug. 2003
By Master of - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you happen to find this book torn in half in a used book shop, then buy only the first half. There you will find brilliant Muldoon. If you reaqd just that, you'll think he's the greatest Irish poet ever (or at least among the top three). I wish I could say the same for the last half.
Timeless Poetry for our Times? 20 July 2014
By ersatzeden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm desperate to find poetry written in the last 50 years that is worth keeping, passing along to our progeny. That is why I bit on a promotion by Garrison Keillor's "Woebegon Almanac" -- for this tome, of phrasing while thinking in terms of music and lyrics. But no. I didn't find anything that I would copy down or use outside of skimming a page or two looking for something with some bite, some insight, some unique, catchy thought.

Of course we've had great music lyric writers up until the 1960, and a few good song lyrics since then,but no timeless poetry -- and therefore I'm holding onto my Coleridge, Longfellow, Tennyson, Kipling and Robert Service collections. Nothing since has topped them.
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