Friday, December 01, 2006

Not "A Trifle"

I read a recent article on Paul Muldoon in The New York Times Magazine. While my exposure to Muldoon’s work has been limited, I’ve read enough to know I like the guy’s work even if 90% of it flies over my head. His poems tend to be complexly structured and “difficult” although, apparently, if you ask him he’d say he strives for clarity. This from the man who hilariously encoded “Is this a New Yorker poem or what” in one of his poems (ironically, or maybe not so, the New Yorker rejected it).

The article did its job—I now want to read more Muldoon, but even more importantly, I want to be Muldoon.

Let me explain. He met Seamus Heaney at 16, asked him to read some poems, which he did and then got them published. From there it was a nice ride up to the highest ranks of contemporary poetry’s brightest skies. His first book came out before he finished college, for fuck’s sake. Not only that, but he lives in an 18th century house (albeit, in New Jersey) with wood planks the size of fold out tables and collects guitars. And he has formed a garage band.

The guy is living the dream. God bless him.