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Muldoon, Paul

ISBN 10: 0571195431 / ISBN 13: 9780571195435
Published by New York Farrar Straus Giroux (1998)., 1998
From Charles Seluzicki Fine & Rare Books ABAA (Portland, OR, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since August 5, 1998 Seller Rating 4-star rating

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About this Item

Publisher's informational letter laid in (a bit rumpled.) Fine in fine dust wrapper. 1st US edition. Binding is boards. Bookseller Inventory # 005393

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Bibliographic Details

Title: HAY

Publisher: New York Farrar Straus Giroux (1998).

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: F.

About this title


Paul Muldoon's collection Hay refines, and re-defines, a lyrical strain in which an ostensible lightness of touch still has the strength to bear the weightiest subject matter. At once conventional and cutting edge, beautiful and bleak, Hay is a book that demonstrates fully the range of Muldoon's poetic intelligence and imagination.


Though Paul Muldoon's voice is thoroughly his own, a taste for turbulent rhythms and fantastical journeys firmly links him with some of our finest poets, most notably Coleridge. In "The Mud Room," the start of this stunning collection, the speaker juxtaposes wildly dissimilar images--Pharaohs and Kikkoman soy sauce, Virgil's Georgics and "cardboard boxes from K-Mart," ziggurats and six-packs. Why? Because in piecing together the whole of our collective human past--the past of Jackson Browne's "The Pretender" on the same page as the past of Epicurus--Muldoon casts a vote for inclusion, a vote against exclusivity and relegation. He travels far to show such close relations. Rather than focus on differences, we're forced to consider a resemblance between rock stars and Pharaohs, and in turn a grander likeness that joins us all.

But in drawing together common connective strands of history, culture, and emotion, Muldoon is anything but general. His language is highly original and searching. He doesn't merely sniff dispassionately at the "otherness" of words; like an excited hound that has discovered the scent of another animal, he rolls vigorously in it--and makes it his own:

So a harum-scarum
bushman, hey, would slash one forearm
with a flint, ho, or a sliver of steel
till it flashed, hey ho, like a hel-

These poems resonate with an easy coexistence of the ordinary and the exotic. Whether he's penning rhymed haiku (rhymed haiku?) about placid farm life ("None more dishevelled / than those who seemed most demure. / Our rag-weed revels") or quatrains about Cracow ("Into the Vistula swollen with rain / you and I might have plunged and found a way / to beat out the black grain / as our forefathers did on threshing day"), Muldoon's words gleam like jewels unearthed from everyday mud. --Martha Silano

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Charles Seluzicki, Fine & Rare Books, ABAA was established in the late 70's in Baltimore, Maryland. At that time, first specializing exclusively in poetry, we started our Fine Press Series and have published fine press books and broadsides by notable poets and writers: Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Charles Simic, Tess Gallagher, Czeslaw Milosz, Mark Strand and a host of others. Projects by Charles Simic and Robert Lowell are in the works. Visitors are welcome by appointment.

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