One Thousand Things Worth Knowing: Poems

One Thousand Things Worth Knowing: Poems

Paul Muldoon

Another wild, expansive assortment from the endlessly outstanding Pulitzer Prize–winning poet

Smuggling diesel; Ben-Hur (the motion picture, sure, but additionally Lew Wallace's unique publication, and Seosamh Mac Grianna's Gaelic translation); a true journey to Havana; an imaginary journey to the Château d'If: Paul Muldoon's most modern number of poems, his 12th, is phenomenally wide-ranging in its topic matter―as we have now come to anticipate from this grasp of self-reinvention. He could be somber or quick-witted―often in the comparable poem: The mournful chorus of "Cuthbert and the Otters" is "I can't thole the idea of Seamus Heaney dead," yet that does not cease Muldoon from quipping that the traditional Danes "are already dyeing every little thing beige / In anticipation, maybe, of the carpet and mustard factories."
If this masterful, multifarious assortment does have a subject, it truly is watchfulness. "War is to wealth as functionality is to appraisal," he warns in "Recalculating." And "Source is to leak as eire is to debt." Heedful, hard-won, head-turning, heartfelt, those poems try to convey scrutiny to undergo on every thing, together with scrutiny itself. One Thousand issues worthy Knowing confirms Nick Laird's evaluate, in The New York assessment of Books, that Muldoon is "the so much officially formidable and technically leading edge of recent poets," an experimenter and craftsman who "writes poems like not anyone else."

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