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Crooning with Muldoon

By Harriet Staff

In The New York Observer, Michael Miller presents a long and amiable description of hanging out with New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon. The occasion was the publication of Muldoon’s eleventh book, Maggot, about which Miller observes:

The entire book is a kind of maggoting [gnawing], in every sense imaginable, predominantly derived from the paradoxes of life continuing on both in spite—and because—of death. Consider, as Mr. Muldoon would want his readers to, the etymology of the word “metaphor”—itself the operative function of any poet’s work, but also the dominant linguistic technique of the recurring signifier “maggot,” a sustained metaphor throughout the collection. “Metaphor” comes from the Greek metaphero, meaning “to carry over,” suggesting, at once, the literal connotations of the noun maggot (organic life “carrying over” as a result of death), but also the symbolic nature of such reciprocity as a poetical trope.

Enough serious stuff. Check out this exchange, which journalist and poet shared while cruising in Muldoon’s Prius:

“Are you a Bon Jovi fan?” he asked.
“No.”
“Me neither.”….He drummed on the steering wheel of his car, singing Bon Jovi lyrics, hiding his Irish accent beneath an approximation of Mr. Bon Jovi’s Jersey croon.
“You give love a bad na-ame!”
There is a potential poem here.


Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 by Harriet Staff.