An excellent post about Irish poet Paul Muldoon by Anthony Lawrence.


by Anthony Lawrence


I thought I’d begin my Blog with a close reading from a small selection of Paul Muldoon’s poems. I consider him to be one of the major poets writing in English, and I’d like to share some thoughts on why his work has been so influential.

Muldoon emerged, as did Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Michael Longley, Eavan Boland, Ciaran Carson and others, from Belfast into international prominence. The Belfast renaissance of the late 60’s produced a potent list of poets whose work would inspire generations and, in Muldoon’s case, many imitators.

The story goes that when Muldoon, aged 19, showed Heaney some poems and asked him what he could do to improve them, Heaney said “Nothing” and handed them back to him. This story has been cut back to its essence, of course, yet it reveals how much clout the young man had, and how it seemed…

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