Reviewed Poetry Book

Moy Sand And Gravel

by Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon is a poet who likes to experiment with language, often in rich and idiosyncratic ways. This is his ninth volume of poetry. It is littered with magnificent gems and mini-epics, puns and mysteries, all washed down with intricate wordplay. This is illustrated in an extract from Affairs of State.

The lock of hair in a green-lined envelope
which was given to me by a woman with whom I planned
to elope

in the mid-eighties came back, much to my disbelief,
as the single rusty leaf

like a rivet
in a thick hedge of boxwood or privet

along a drive like her front drive, now no more likely to
as it reached its vanishing point

Muldoon is a poet in love with the possibilities of language and he displays technical mastery of his craft. This is revealed in Cradle Song for Asher.

When they cut your birth cord yesterday
it was I who drifted away.

Now I hear your name (in Hebrew, 'blest')
as yet another release of ballast

and see, beyond your wicker
gondola, camp-fires, cities, whole continents flicker.

He has produced a rich tapestry of diverse work and is one of the few significant poets of his generation.

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