The Complex Writing Style of Paul Muldoon Essay

Paul Muldoon as one of Ireland’s leading poets is a very reputable writer, who made a great contribution to world literature. Hence, this paper explores the complex writing style of this poet and describes his uniqueness in a proper way.

To start with, Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet, who writes his major works in English and is widely known for his complex writing style full of deft techniques in slant rhyme. During his writing career Muldoon has published more than thirty collections and won different prestigious writing awards, including the T. S. Eliot Prize and a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. McGrath points out that Muldoon “is one of the five or so best poets alive,” “the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War” and a serious contender for the Nobel Prize” (1). There is no doubt that he is a reputable poet who is widely recognized worldwide. Additionally, Paul Muldoon has held the position of Oxford Professor of Poetry. He studied literature at the Queen’s University of Belfast, and one of his teachers was Seamus Heaney. Obtained knowledge and skills allowed him to hold the post of the president of the Poetry Editor at The New Yorker, as well as the Poetry Society (U.K.). Since 1987, Muldoon lives in the United States and teaches literature at Princeton.

In addition to the poems and essays, Muldoon wrote several librettos for American composer Daron Hagen and composed the collections of poems for children. His first book “New Weather” (1973) attracted much attention and became very popular with the crowds. Therefore, the author’s major and well-known collections of poetry are as follows:

  1. New Weather (1973) – the first book of poems;
  2. Mules (1977) – Muldoon’s second collection;
  3. Why Brownlee Left (1980) – the book’s title embodies the author’s love of open-endedness;
  4. Quoof (1983) – the book is titled based on Muldoon’s family name for a hot-water bottle;
  5. Meeting The British (1987);
  6. Madoc: A Mystery (1990) – the book is ambitious and notoriously complicated;
  7. The Annals of Chile (1994) is a very emotionally direct creation;
  8. Hay (1998) – a collection that covers various subjects ranging from the personal to the political ones;
  9. Poems 1968-1998 (2001) – this collection of poems is distinguished by its wise and witty linguistic style;
  10. Moy Sand and Gravel (2002) – Muldoon’s collection of selected poems;
  11. Horse Latitudes (2006) – the collection is notable for its several significant features, such as deft technique full of fixed poetic forms and combined with puns and slant-rhymes.
  12. Maggot (2010) – the author’s brilliant new collection.

Talking about Muldoon’s autobiographical poetry, it is possible to say that his unique and unusual poetry is very rich in language and inventive on methaphorics. He masterfully deals with different poetic techniques and refers to the strict poetic forms, practicing the so-called free verse. In addition, Muldoon’s poetry is widely recognized for his very difficult, skillful, sly, and at the same time, allegorical style full of obscure and archaic words, punning and understated wit. McGrath supports this statement, saying that “a lot of Muldoon’s poetry takes the form of imaginary journeys or a rummage around the attic of his own head, a place filled with an astonishing amount of bric-a-brac” (2).

The author’s style and his creations are often compared to Heaney, who is a good friend to Muldoon. However, “unlike Heaney, Muldoon pays next to no attention to meter and can change tone from serious to slapstick to sarcasm in an instant; his work seems intentionally to lack Heaney’s kind of high polish, his Yeatsian seriousness and even grandness” (McGrath 2). Surely, his poems are often so complex and difficult that they can be compared with stunts or “else like the obsessive handiwork of someone with a freakish gift for pattern and rhyming” (McGrath 2). In fact, Muldoon is considered to be much more of “the poet’s poet”, whose writings are often too opaque and involved for more casual readers. Undoubtedly, he turns all other different poets  “Yeats, Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Hughes, Marianne Moore, Marina Tsvetayeva — into versions of himself, and their ways of writing become his way of writing, which is a kind of poetic hyperactivity or leaping free association” (McGrath 3).

Thus, taking the above-mentioned information into consideration, it is possible to draw a conclusion that Muldoon’s significant contribution to world literature cannot be overstated. Nowadays, Paul Muldoon is considered to be one of the largest and most famous artists of his generation. His poems have been translated into many languages and quickly became very popular with the crowds. The author is widely known for his complex writing style full of deft techniques in slant rhyme and his poetry is often viewed as too willfully obscure. In addition, it is possible to add that Muldoon’s writing style is very unusual and unique and can be misunderstood by a more casual readership. All in all, the author’s writings are ambitious and remarkable, which provide a moral message to every person.

 

Works cited

McGrath, Charles. Word Freak. The New York Times, 19 Nov. 2006. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/magazine/19muldoon.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0>.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

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freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]
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