Friday, June 22, 2007

Great Review of Muldoon

Peter Sirr gives a wonderful reading andreview of Paul Muldoon's The End of The Poem. What I particularly love is the structure that Muldoon gives to the en-devour in that each reading of a poem and poet explores the different readings and interpretations of the word "end".

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Poetry Readings

Went to hear Jane Hirshfield and Robert Hass read at the PoetryNow 07 festival. I think Jane is a great poet, and her collection of selected poems from Bloodaxe is a must buy. The surprise of the evening for me was Hass. When I read him, I've done so in an internal voice that is sophisticated, and calm.... knowing. What comes across when you hear him read in person is the sense of nervous tension, the almost friable voice. This isn't the first time that hearing someone in person has changed the baseline voice for me. I heard Paul Durcan read at the PoetryNow 05 festival and I had a true sense of this Beckett meets Pinter-like suburbia, there was a dark laughter in the room, and I can say that for the first time in my life I "got" Paul Durcan. I am not a huge fan of readings in general, but when you have experiences such as these it is hard to argue that the readings serve a purpose.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Denis Donoghue: Words Alone

I've read lots of T.S. Eliot, and many books about his work, buy it is such a pleasure to read Denis Donoghue's "Words Alone" about the poems of TSE. The close reading style is never pedantic, and his arguments are totally integrated. It feels a little like having your hair combed with a firmly held, bore-bristle (sic). Donoghue used to teach at Trinity College Dublin, and then at NYU. To have such a teacher one must be blessed, as a friend of mine was. But for Ireland to lose such a teacher..... I for one, will have to finish it, and start all over again, and hope against hope that I have mind enough to hold it.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Muldoon, Paul

I had saved this and just now re-read it. What a very good poem it is.

Lines for the Centenary of the Birth of Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

Published: April 16, 2006, New York Times

Only now do we see how each crossroads
was bound to throw up not only a cross
but a couple of gadabouts with goads,
a couple of gadabouts at a loss

as to why they were at the beck and call
of some old crock soaring above the culch
of a kitchen midden at evenfall,
of some old crock roaring across the gulch

as a hanged man roars out to a hanged man.
Now bucket nods to bucket of the span
of an ash yoke, or something of that ilk ...

Now one hanged man kicks at the end of his rope
in another little attack of hope.
Now a frog in one bucket thickens the milk.

Paul Muldoon is the author of "Horse Latitudes." For me, the absolute stand out book of last year, was Muldoon's book of essays. A must read.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

PoetryNow and Robert Hass

What a great resource. Frederick Seidel A great reader of poetry, try his soon to be famous "Kill Field".

In other news PoetryNow07 has Robert Hass reading with Derek Mahon. I reviewed Mahon on this blog before and Harbour Lights is a grand return to form. Hass is just so influential. When I was on holidays in Italy, I took three books by Hass, Collected Bishop, and Remembrance of Things Past. I think it was "Praise" that I lingered over longest. And we also get to hear Jane Hirshfield on the same evening. Joy. If you haven't already, there is a selected poems out on Bloodaxe that is just a treasure.

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