Paul Muldoon’s new collection of poems feels nearly inevitable: it is actually a book of rock lyrics, complete with an accompanying CD of a band called Wayside Shrines playing some selections. Mr. Muldoon famously collaborated with Warren Zevon, and much of the poet’s work has played with lyric in some way. The title poem of his last collection, 2010’s Maggot, is a cycle of nine modified Petrarchan sonnets, each woven together by a common refrain at the volta, which toys as much with pop-music sentiment as the rest of the poem does with lyric in the more classical sense of the word: “Where I’m waiting for some lover / to kick me out of bed / for having acted on a whim.” He’s also written a poem, loosely structured as a blues song with one short line repeating twice, about Bob Dylan receiving an honorary degree from Princeton, where Mr. Muldoon, who was born in Northern Ireland, now lives and teaches. The long poem “Sillyhow Stride” is a free-verse elegy for the late Mr. Zevon set at the 2004 Grammy Awards. Read More
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