Little Do We Know

Mark Ford

  • The Annals of Chile by Paul Muldoon
    Faber, 191 pp, £14.99, September 1994, ISBN 0 571 17205 9

‘What are we going to write about now?’ one of Ulster’s more engagé poets half-jokingly inquired soon after the IRA’s ceasefire was announced. One would imagine that Paul Muldoon will be among the Northern Irish poets least directly affected by whatever happens – or doesn’t – in the Province. His poetry has always reflected political events in the most delicate of styles, avoiding overt judgments, sentimental ideals, commitments or solutions, instead teasing out angles of irony and embodying states of impasse – ‘that eternal interim’, as he calls it in ‘Lull’ – with a sophistication that must be its own reward.

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[*] Faber, 47pp., £6.99, 5 September 1994, 0 571 10233 6.