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Millom

Alan Hollinghurst, 18 February 1982

Sea to the West 
by Norman Nicholson.
Faber, 64 pp., £3, June 1981, 0 571 11729 5
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Out for the Elements 
by Andrew Waterman.
Carcanet, 151 pp., £3.95, October 1981, 0 85635 377 9
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Between Here and Now 
by R.S. Thomas.
Macmillan, 110 pp., £5.95, November 1981, 0 333 32186 3
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Poetry Introduction Five 
Faber, 121 pp., £5.25, January 1982, 0 571 11793 7Show More
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... long poem is continuing its revival, in the hands of younger poets such as Jeffrey Wainwright and Paul Muldoon; there has also recently been the odd case of John Fuller’s The Illusionists, a novel in the stanza of Eugene Onegin which expertly takes on much of the wit, melancholy and technical fluency of Pushkin’s poem. ‘Out for the Elements’ is ...

Writing the Night

Hugh Haughton, 25 January 1996

Selected Poems 
by David Gascoyne.
Enitharmon, 253 pp., £8.95, November 1994, 1 870612 34 5
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... hysteria blots out the folded hemlocks.’ It was decades later that poets such as John Ashbery or Paul Muldoon helped Anglophone poetry to a convincing use of Surrealist licence for its own ways and meanings. In any case, at the end of the Thirties Gascoyne himself had effectively abandoned Surrealism, and with it ‘The Rites of Hysteria’ and ‘The ...

Elegant Extracts

Leah Price: Anthologies, 3 February 2000

The Oxford Book of English Verse 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 690 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 19 214182 1
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume One 
edited by M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt.
Norton, 2974 pp., £22.50, December 1999, 0 393 97487 1
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The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume Two 
edited by M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt.
Norton, 2963 pp., £22.50, February 2000, 9780393974911
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The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Volume One 
edited by David Damrosch.
Longman, 2963 pp., $53, July 1999, 0 321 01173 2
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The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Volume Two 
edited by David Damrosch.
Longman, 2982 pp., $53, July 1999, 0 321 01174 0
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Night & Horses & The Desert: An Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature 
edited by Robert Irwin.
Allen Lane, 480 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 7139 9153 4
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News that Stays News: The 20th Century in Poems 
edited by Simon Rae.
Faber, 189 pp., £9.99, October 1999, 0 571 20060 5
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Time’s Tidings: Greeting the 21st Century 
by Carol Ann Duffy.
Anvil, 157 pp., £7.95, November 1999, 0 85646 313 2
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Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the 20th Century in Poetry 
edited by Peter Forbes.
Penguin, 640 pp., £12.99, February 1999, 9780140588996
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... the two. Both anthologies register the aftershock of the multiculturalist impulse that generated Paul Lauter’s revisionist Heath Anthology of American Literature (1990) and Myra Jehlen and Michael Warner’s English Literatures of America (1996), but they do so in diametrically opposed ways. The new Norton turns outward to include a staggering array of ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: Summer in Donegal, 16 September 1999

... the hillside and are spreading over the lower meadow. Yes, the hill is coming down with hazel, as Paul Muldoon says. I’ve brought a bow saw with me and I begin cutting away some of the tall wands. Should I be disturbing this place? In among the stones, as I lift them, are a few large torpid worms which I put in the shopping bag I’ve ...

Dialect does it

Blake Morrison, 5 December 1985

No Mate for the Magpie 
by Frances Molloy.
Virago, 170 pp., £7.95, April 1985, 0 86068 594 2
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The Mysteries 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 229 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 9780571137893
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Ukulele Music 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 103 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 40986 0
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Hard Lines 2 
edited by Ian Dury, Pete Townshend, Alan Bleasdale and Fanny Dubes.
Faber, 95 pp., £2.50, June 1985, 0 571 13542 0
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No Holds Barred: The Raving Beauties choose new poems by women 
edited by Anna Carteret, Fanny Viner and Sue Jones-Davies.
Women’s Press, 130 pp., £2.95, June 1985, 0 7043 3963 3
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Katerina Brac 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 47 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13614 1
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Skevington’s Daughter 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 88 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 571 13697 4
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Rhondda Tenpenn’orth 
by Oliver Reynolds.
10 pence
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Trio 4 
by Andrew Elliott, Leon McAuley and Ciaran O’Driscoll.
Blackstaff, 69 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 333 4
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Mama Dot 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, August 1985, 0 7011 2957 3
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The Dread Affair: Collected Poems 
by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Arena, 112 pp., £2.95, August 1985, 9780099392507
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Long Road to Nowhere 
by Amryl Johnson.
Virago, 64 pp., £2.95, July 1985, 0 86068 687 6
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Mangoes and Bullets 
by John Agard.
Pluto, 64 pp., £3.50, August 1985, 0 7453 0028 6
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Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars 
by Ron Butlin.
Secker, 51 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 07810 4
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True Confessions and New Clichés 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 135 pp., £3.95, July 1985, 0 904919 90 0
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Works in the Inglis Tongue 
by Peter Davidson.
Three Tygers Press, 17 pp., £2.50, June 1985
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Wild Places: Poems in Three Leids 
by William Neill.
Luath, 200 pp., £5, September 1985, 0 946487 11 1
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... Heaney in Wintering Out, the jokey juxtaposition of national matters and erotic ones is more like Paul Muldoon. ‘Pobl y Cwm’, for instance (‘people of the valley’), records changes in the Rhondda through terrible puns (‘We’ve no news of King Coal’) and an outrageous final conceit: They’re expanding The factory at Merthyr That makes Janet ...

Playboys of the GPO

Colm Tóibín, 18 April 1996

Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation 
by Declan Kiberd.
Cape, 719 pp., £20, November 1995, 0 224 04197 5
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... all, or those who found or find them worthy merely of jokes and asides, such as Flann O’Brien or Paul Muldoon. Inventing Ireland, in the sense that Yeats invented Ireland, has stopped; writers now invent other sorts of Ireland, and it is not necessary to read their work politically. Is Beckett, then, the one who got away? Kiberd has him ‘deeply ...

Crabby, Prickly, Bitter, Harsh

Michael Wood: Tolstoy’s Malice, 22 May 2008

War and Peace 
by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
Vintage, 1273 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 09 951223 3
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... volumes in the series are pieces by Lydia Davis and Alan Jenkins and a forthcoming work by Paul Muldoon). One of Pevear’s test cases is a sentence in which Tolstoy repeats a phrase with apparent (or indeed perhaps real) carelessness: ‘Nine days after the abandoning of Moscow, a messenger from Kutuzov reached Petersburg with official news of ...

Hand and Foot

John Kerrigan: Seamus Heaney, 27 May 1999

Opened Ground: Poems 1966-96 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 478 pp., £20, September 1998, 0 571 19492 3
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The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: A Critical Study 
by Neil Corcoran.
Faber, 276 pp., £9.99, September 1998, 0 571 17747 6
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Seamus Heaney 
by Helen Vendler.
HarperCollins, 188 pp., £15.99, November 1998, 0 00 255856 4
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... high tech. If you want robots, Astroturf and IT you should turn to the younger Ulster poets Paul Muldoon and Ciaran Carson. The difference, however, lies less in their subject-matter than in the sensibility associated with it. Next to their channel-hopping transitions, macaronic language games and subversions of cultural piety, Heaney often seems ...

Self-Management

Seamus Perry: Southey’s Genius for Repression, 26 January 2006

Robert Southey: Poetical Works 1793-1810 
edited by Lynda Pratt, Tim Fulford and Daniel Sanjiv Roberts.
Pickering & Chatto, 2624 pp., £450, May 2004, 1 85196 731 1
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... it to Pennsylvania, which was probably just as well. (In his shaggy-dog history of ideas, Madoc, Paul Muldoon imagines the high-minded debacle that would have ensued had they ever got there.) Fiery Southey grew cooler and cooler. He began by suggesting that the party might perhaps work up to the full American dream by way of a small farm in Wales ...

Belonging

John Kerrigan, 18 July 1996

The ‘O’o’a’a’ Bird 
by Justin Quinn.
Carcanet, 69 pp., £7.95, March 1995, 1 85754 125 1
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Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 254 pp., £18.95, April 1995, 1 85754 074 3
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Collected Poems 
by Eavan Boland.
Carcanet, 217 pp., £9.95, November 1995, 1 85754 220 7
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Captain Lavender 
by Medbh McGuckian.
Gallery Press, 83 pp., £11.95, November 1994, 9781852351427
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... As he says in ‘Place and Displacement’ (1984), the work of Derek Mahon, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon and Heaney himself resembles that of the young Wordsworth – loyal to Revolutionary France but attached to England – in that political and cultural dislocation in Ulster makes their experience of belonging plural. It would be mechanistic to ...

What most I love I bite

Matthew Bevis: Stevie Smith, 28 July 2016

The Collected Poems and Drawings of Stevie Smith 
edited by Will May.
Faber, 806 pp., £35, October 2015, 978 0 571 31130 9
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... them: Harry, do they ever collide? I do not think it has ever happened, Oh my bride, my bride.Paul Muldoon reads this as poignant, hears the last line as exasperated and senses an ‘almost inevitable lack of consummation’ between the couple. Smith, however, talks of it as ‘a happy love poem … a boss shot at a general feeling of warmth and ...

The Road to Sligo

Tom Paulin, 17 May 1984

Poetry and Metamorphosis 
by Charles Tomlinson.
Cambridge, 97 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 521 24848 5
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Translations 
by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 120 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 19 211958 3
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Conversation with the Prince 
by Tadeusz Rozewicz, translated by Adam Czerniawski.
Anvil, 206 pp., £4.95, March 1982, 0 85646 079 6
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Passions and Impressions 
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.
Farrar, Straus/Faber, 396 pp., £16.50, October 1983, 0 571 12054 7
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An Empty Room 
by Leopold Staff, translated by Adam Czerniawski.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £3.25, March 1983, 0 906427 52 5
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... can be traced in the most brilliant imitation to appear in these islands for many years – Paul Muldoon’s ‘Immram’.† This long, free-floating, tightly-organised poem is a version of an eighth-century Irish legend, ‘The Voyage of Maildun’, and is cunningly relocated in modern New York. Tennyson read the story in P.W. Joyce’s Old ...

Someone Else’s

Matthew Reynolds: Translating Cesare Pavese, 6 October 2005

Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-50 
by Cesare Pavese, translated by Geoffrey Brock.
Carcanet, 370 pp., £14.95, April 2004, 1 85754 738 1
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems 
edited by Jamie McKendrick.
Faber, 167 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 0 571 19700 0
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... Lowell, Jeremy Reed, Jonathan Galassi, Tom Paulin and so on), McKendrick rightly chooses Paul Muldoon’s. Inseparably inventive and close, his ‘Eel’ is like its namesake: it departs from its origin only as a way of returning to it. At one point, Muldoon sends the eel ‘to some green and pleasant spawning ...
A Word from the Loki 
by Maurice Riordan.
Faber, 64 pp., £6.99, January 1995, 0 571 17364 0
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After the Deafening 
by Gerard Woodward.
Chatto, 64 pp., £7.99, October 1994, 0 7011 6271 6
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The Ice-Pilot Speaks 
by Pauline Stainer.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £6.95, October 1994, 1 85224 298 1
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The Angel of History 
by Carolyn Forché.
Bloodaxe, 96 pp., £7.95, November 1994, 1 85224 307 4
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The Neighbour 
by Michael Collier.
Chicago, 74 pp., £15.95, January 1995, 0 226 11358 2
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Jubilation 
by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 64 pp., £6.99, March 1995, 0 19 282451 1
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... which English poetry last had in the Thirties. The way in which poets as diverse as Heaney, Muldoon, Longley, McGuckian, Carson and Mahon are to a certain degree sustained by a single symbolic world is something that poets like Armitage and Maxwell are trying to copy. In Maurice Riordan’s first collection, A Word From the Loki, the title poem reflects ...

His Own Prophet

Michael Hofmann: Read Robert Lowell!, 11 September 2003

Collected Poems 
by Robert Lowell, edited by Frank Bidart and David Gewanter.
Faber, 1186 pp., £40, July 2003, 0 571 16340 8
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... and symmetrical. It is something made, not random, illimitable scoop. (Twenty years later, Paul Muldoon will take this principle into a teasing panoptical artifice in Why Brownlee Left, Quoof and subsequent books.) There is nothing like Life Studies, and it is, therefore (poetry being poetry, and, Brodsky says, abhorring repetition), infinitely to ...

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