paul muldoon turtlesPosted on October 8th, 2020
Indirectly, the poem also comments upon controversial political issues, and the language of codes and reticence that frequently shields urgent issues from open debate. Was this touch immodest? Muldoon writes in an earlier poem: ‘Triad,’ The Times Literary Supplement, 19 May 1995, 13. The French connection, particularly Derrida’s language philosophy, still enables critical resistance towards overriding discourses. James Fenton, ‘A Poke in the Eye with a Poem: Horse Latitudes by Paul Muldoon,’ The Guardian, 21 October 2006, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/oct/21/featuresreviews.guardianreview6., accessed 15 February 2019. 210 (2006), 5. Paul Muldoon Will & Mary Pope Osborne. Since Muldoon’s emergence from the disturbances in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, his move to the United States in 1987, the continuous crossings of the Atlantic ever since, and his rise to fame over the last three decades, one might ask: does he need to discharge some of the vital cargo of his poetics, or change the track of his established course? This final line sounds uncannily familiar to today’s political world of international diplomacy, duplicity and coded silence. This time Muldoon’s sister is incorporated in the catalogue of death by cancer – ‘In Memory of Maureen Muldoon 1953–2005’ – as is his friend and fellow artist Warren Zevon, who died of pleural mesothelioma in 2003.
Its many deconstructive features also serve to undermine the predominant rhetoric of political oppression and the propaganda of war – a grim global situation that Adorno would easily recognise. Spring is Annie in a white eyelet graduation gown with a yellow grosgrain ribbon tied around the empire waist, her blond hair lifting in the wind, as beautiful to us younger girls as I suspect May was to her brother when she came home at dawn. Muldoon’s hilarious coinage, just like his two other entries ‘colinoscopy’ and ‘condeelusion,’ firmly intervenes in the public debate at the time on the politics of the Bush precidency, and its differences from the French in how to approach Iraq and the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Muldoon has said elsewhere that another battle beginning with "b", Baghdad, is implied by omission; and the sequence is insistently concerned with omission, evasion, secrecy, censorship, silence and even methods of torture. Its title, situation and incumbent questions of justice interact directly with Heaney’s ‘Mycenae Lookout,’ but also relates to his ‘Punishment,’ ‘The Strand at Lough Beg,’ ‘Casualty,’ and ‘Station Island.’ In Muldoon’s poem ‘a Salish man’ and his son face the grim fate of war, torture and death as the lookouts of their besieged community: and I came to as they were breaking my legs. Horses run wild across the whole terrain of Muldoon’s artistic career.
While the idiosyncratic and the indirect frequently overshadowed the political in Muldoon’s poetry up to the twentieth century, Medley for Murin Kuhr is aligned more directly with the political. His language expands language as well as mind and lives – whether by joy, anger or frustration – of an increasing number of readers, but obviously he does not strike a chord with a critic like Carey. ‘Medley for Morin Khur’ constitutes a composition cold and passionate as carnage in its transposition of atrocity and massacre into art and melody. The poem also accounts for the person’s – most likely Muldoon himself – autodidactic research into the ‘New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary’ for illumination on the word ‘metastasis’ in relation to his ‘dear Sis.’ Muldoon’s poem highlights the hedge school, the American high school and the Oxford English Dictionary as institutions of education, while at the same time subscribing to an understanding of education that extends beyond the confines of institutions. Haikus operate as prison cells for sentences and the instant messages series resembles another Muldoonesque alterrative, almost a Madoc in haiku form, an intergeneric splicing of Japanese minimalist form with the entangled narratives of Tom Moore’s art and life, and Muldoon’s own literature and life. A subtle political dimension is also included: the British are involved in most of these battles; in Belfast, America and elsewhere, just as Bush, the Americans and the British are involved in Baghdad and Basra. So while it’s funny, it’s also understandable that with the Cuban missile crisis looming, the father in the poem jumps from May’s lightweight dress to rape to nuclear war to the final judgment in a few pounds of his fist. To think that generations of Oxford students were ‘taught’ by this poor fellow! Muldoon discerns connections and allusions in ways that may seem far-fetched or apophenic (as he cheerfully acknowledges), but he can also make some eerily convincing cases for the intertextual links he proposes. Certainly, despite all the misguided and contentious judgements in Carey’s review, Heaney and Muldoon’s combative sodality of imagination constitutes an indelible watermark of their achievement.22 Consequently, it seems appropriate and not coincidental that the two compatriots rested their associations with Faber to publish special issues of their latest work almost simultaneously with Enitharmon Press – an entirely different arena, away from critics and public attention. Sure enough, everything Muldoon thinks of makes him think of something else, and poem after poem takes the form of linked association. Only Muldoon can explain (but he doesn't) why it's set on the place where Robert Frost once spent his summers. Romantic Movement. Beasts in this volume slouch in and towards B-cities and other locations. Frequently in these lectures, Muldoon shows that what a poem seems to swerve from is often its real subject. Of multiple origins, partly a borrowing from Latin and partly a borrowing from Greek, its meaning has now metastasised almost entirely into the medical sphere. Entire seasons can be pulled out of time by a single outfit.
Muldoon’s tenth volume of poetry from Faber and Faber in the year he added the European Prize for Poetry to his extensive list of awards, 2006, continues the prominent interest in the functions, inconsistencies and complexities of language. Metastasis is the medical term for a disease, primarily cancer, that spreads to a different part of the body from where it originated. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Just as the Holocaust marshaled them to trial by fire, this poem marshals Asher's maternal Jewish forebears to this trial by flood. Warren Zevon earned a warmer reception than Wanted, and almost plays out like his debut album.Two years later, it was followed by Excitable Boy, which … Medley for Murin Khur approaches directly the American politics of war while it at the same time incorporates historical battles on the British Isles with a certain emotional detachment and artistic insouciance. Fran Brearton, The Great War in Irish Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); ‘Poetry and the Northern Ireland Troubles,’ in The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth Century English and American War Literature, ed. Muldoon shows an attempt to build trust with the hedgehog so that it will share its secrets; however, the hedgehog does not trust and doesn’t share its secrets. Muldoon's chains of association – whether through rhyme, or metaphor, or even an absence of resemblance – enable him to shuttle between disclosure and concealment, between public and private, between the political and the personal, between playfulness and gravity. He knows so much, has read so widely, feels so diversely, has traveled so broadly, that everything in his memory must lie helplessly alive and available, like turtles on their backs. PAUL MULDOON, that energetic, cockeyed and brimmingly prolific emigrant from County Armagh now tenured at Princeton University and housed along the Delaware and Raritan Canal, writes poems that ask for a highly qualified reader. ( Log Out / Courtesy of Blue Flower Arts Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in Portadown, County Armagh, and was raised near The Moy, in Northern Ireland. Running out to dances in next to nothing? The Faber Book of Beasts (London: Faber and Faber, 1997), xvi. In the language of nautical meteorology, ‘horse latitudes’ designates a sphere close to both sides of equator – between the doldrums and the trade winds – that is characterised by calm waters and light winds. Seemingly, the lines resonate with nightmarish self-observation. ‘Those Yankees were touch and go as it was—, Maybe you should make your peace with God.’. Synonyms abound, for example ‘weasel,’ ‘whitrack’ and ‘whitterick’ in ‘The Old Country.’ Muldoon still masters the myriads of possibilities that language can draw from, but in Horse Latitudes, like in Moy Sand and Gravel, there tends to be more of a drive towards the polished and the constructive than towards the pitfalls and more deconstructive aspects of language.
Muldoon’s poetry has nothing to do with ‘the stain of words,’ the stigmata Carey applies to Muldoon’s artistic achievement (nor does Heaney’s, of course).24 Carey is flogging a dead horse; he vainly advances the idea of language as a process ‘to return us from words to things’ and a lifeless conduit for the already known and felt where ‘private suffering’ ‘is turned into words we can all use for our own griefs.’25 The idea that language turns objects, phenomena and emotions as much as it can ‘return us from words to things,’ the idea that language turns in circles around the limited vocabulary ‘we can all use,’ the idea that there might be ways of expressing grief that have yet to be invented and that griefs ‘beyond our own’ (whose?) The first poem ends, affectingly, "For now our highest ambition / was simply to bear the light of the day / we had once been planning to seize". Muldoon went to Queen’s College in Belfast and stayed there to work as a producer for the BBC. The sentence’s circular composition – the first and last lines are the same – returns a metaphysical verdict on the recurrent seasons of life, and on the infinite cycles of death: the utter vanity of the human condition. Or how the Russians or Chinese would be taking over our country without a single bullet being fired. Linguistic latitudes in the opening poem range from B to B, not A to Z, from Beijing and Bannockburn to Bazentin and Burma, all beginning with the letter B, with the conspicuous omission of Belfast as much as Baghdad. ‘Colinoscopy’ is defined as ‘a term once used for a tendency exhibited by high-ranking officials in the George W. Bush regime to examine their conscience and find it clear.
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