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The End of the Poem (Oxford Lectures)

by

The End of the Poem (Oxford Lectures) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon, “the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War” (The Times Literary Supplement), presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems, from Yeatss “All Souls Night” to Stevie Smiths “I Remember” to Fernando Pessoas “Autopsychography.” Here Muldoon reminds us that the word “poem” comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: “a thing made or created.” He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its authors bibliography—and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that “the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written.” And he writes of the boundaries or borders between writer and reader and the extent to which one determines the role of the other.
 
At the end, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase “the end of the poem”: the interpretation that centers on the “aim” or “function” of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent, deeply learned, often funny, and always stimulating, The End of the Poem is a vigorous and accessible approach to looking at poetry anew.
Paul Muldoon is the author of ten books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Moy Sand and Gravel and, most recently, Horse Latitudes. He teaches at Princeton University and, between 1999 and 2004, was professor of poetry at Oxford University.
In The End of the Poem, the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Paul Muldoon presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems drawn mostly from the twentieth century, from Yeats's "All Souls' Night" to Fernando Pessoa's "Autopsychography" to Stevie Smith's "I Remember." Within this collection of fifteen lectures, delivered by Muldoon during his tenure as Oxford's Professor of Poetry, he reminds us that the word "poem" comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: "a thing made or created." He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography—and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that "the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written." And he writes of the boundaries between writer and reader and the extend to which one determines the role of the other.
 
Muldoon also returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase "the end of the poem": the interpretations that centers on the "aim" or "function" of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of a poem is the beginning of criticism. Each chapter visits a different sense of an ending: whether a poem's line endings are forms of closure; whether a poem may be completed—as opposed to undone—by the act of translation; and whether revision brings a poem nearer to its ending.
"Mr. Muldoon takes on some extremely difficult works—W.B. Yeats's 'All Soul's Night,' Eugenio Montale's 'The Eel,' Marina Tsvetaeva's 'Poem of the End'—and his lectures, delivered with an intimate command of literary history and of individual texts, are nothing if not fascinating."—Sam Munson, The New York Sun

"Mr. Muldoon takes on some extremely difficult works—W.B. Yeats's 'All Soul's Night,' Eugenio Montale's 'The Eel,' Marina Tsvetaeva's 'Poem of the End'—and his lectures, delivered with an intimate command of literary history and of individual texts, are nothing if not fascinating."—Sam Munson, The New York Sun

 

"Muldoon entertains almost as much as he enlightens, an unusual and refreshing approach. He dives into the etymology of words, and then relates these discoveries to far-flung biographical and historical fact."—The Economist
 
"The way he reads these poets—from Emily Dickinson to Seamus Heaney—can help readers decode the way he writes . . . Clear and deftly ironic, Muldoon's prose is a delight to read."—The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

 

"Allusion, association, meter, syllabics, perfect rhyme, near-rhyme, vocabulary, etymology, geography, history, biography, bibliography, philosophy, psychology, homonyms, synonyms—Muldoon brings all to bear, finding meaning in what comes to mind. Muldoons approach assumes no poem is an island. Instead, each is an event with a context, influenced by what's come before.  This isn't, of course, a new idea. But where Harold Bloom found anxiety, Muldoon finds delight."—B.T. Shaw, The Oregonian

 

"This fascination with the minutest minutiae of language puts Muldoon at his best, oddly, when he considers more general issues in poetry. His lecture on Elizabeth Bishop, in which he considers the subtle distinctions between poetry and prose, is among the best in the volume, as is his study of various translations of Italian poet Eugenio Montale . . . For those who go to poetry for the mysteries of language and meaning, one can scarcely do better."—Dave Lucas, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

 

"Those who have been paying attention will not be surprised by the preposterous depth and breadth of Muldoon's reading, or the almost inhuman number of texts he can hold open in his head at once, shuttling across and through them like some computer-animated leathertron from The Matrix."—Joyelle McSweeney, Rain Taxi

 

"[Muldoon's] scholarship is excellent . . . [M]ore important, [The End of the Poem] is interesting and easily accessible as well."—Paolina Taglienti, Library Journal

 
"In his most substantial prose collection to date, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Muldoon offers 15 characteristically idiosyncratic lectures on individual poems by a host of influential world poets, delivered at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004. Rather than explication and clarification, Muldoon favors association and surprise, as he does in his poems. In discussions of often lesser-known poems by major figures, beginning with W.B. Yeats and moving through Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Fernando Pessoa and Irish-born Muldoon's own mentor, Seamus Heaney, Muldoon focuses on the recurrence and etymology of particular words as they relate to other poems and poets, quoting the OED almost as often as poetry. He also locates the poems' origins in other unlikely texts, such as a little-known 1851 Harper's article, which Muldoon claims influenced Dickinson . . . Muldoon's conjectures . . . are always highly compelling and clever, and this book provides an expansive view of the mind of a major poet, and a fresh, if unorthodox, method for reading literary texts."—Publishers Weekly

Review:

"In his most substantial prose collection to date, Pulitzer Prize — winning poet Muldoon (Moy Sand and Gravel) offers 15 characteristically idiosyncratic lectures on individual poems by a host of influential world poets, delivered at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004. Rather than explication and clarification, Muldoon favors association and surprise, as he does in his poems. In discussions of often lesser-known poems by major figures, beginning with W.B. Yeats and moving through Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Fernando Pessoa and Irish-born Muldoon's own mentor, Seamus Heaney, Muldoon focuses on the recurrence and etymology of particular words as they relate to other poems and poets, quoting the OED almost as often as poetry. He also locates the poems' origins in other unlikely texts, such as a little-known 1851 Harper's article, which Muldoon claims influenced Dickinson. While some of Muldoon's conjectures may seem far-fetched, they are always highly compelling and clever, and this book provides an expansive view of the mind of a major poet, and a fresh, if unorthodox, method for reading literary texts. This volume is released concurrently with Horse Latitudes, a new collection of poems (Reviews, July 31)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon, "the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War" (The Times Literary Supplement), presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's "All Souls' Night" to Stevie Smith's "I Remember" to Fernando Pessoa's "Autopsychography." Here Muldoon reminds us that the word "poem" comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: "a thing made or created." He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography--and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that "the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written." And he writes of the boundaries or borders between writer and reader and the extent to which one determines the role of the other.

At the end, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase "the end of the poem": the interpretation that centers on the "aim" or "function" of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent, deeply learned, often funny, and always stimulating, The End of the Poem is a vigorous and accessible approach to looking at poetry anew.

Synopsis:

In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon dazzlingly explores a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's "All Souls' Night" to Stevie Smith's "I Remember" to Fernando Pessoa's "Autopsychography." Muldoon reminds us that the word "poem" comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: "a thing made or created." He asks: Can a poem ever be a free-standing structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography--and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that "the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written."

Finally, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase "the end of the poem": the interpretation that centers on the "aim" or "function" of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent and deeply learned, The End of the Poem is a vigorous approach to looking at poetry anew.

About the Author

Paul Muldoon is the author of nine books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Moy Sand and Gravel (FSG, 2002). He teaches at Princeton University and, between 1999 and 2004, was professor of poetry at Oxford University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374148102
Subtitle:
Oxford Lectures
Author:
Muldoon, Paul
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
History and criticism
Subject:
Poetry, modern
Subject:
LIT014000
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Oxford Lectures
Publication Date:
20070821
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.35 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion

The End of the Poem (Oxford Lectures) Used Hardcover
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Product details 416 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374148102 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his most substantial prose collection to date, Pulitzer Prize — winning poet Muldoon (Moy Sand and Gravel) offers 15 characteristically idiosyncratic lectures on individual poems by a host of influential world poets, delivered at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004. Rather than explication and clarification, Muldoon favors association and surprise, as he does in his poems. In discussions of often lesser-known poems by major figures, beginning with W.B. Yeats and moving through Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Fernando Pessoa and Irish-born Muldoon's own mentor, Seamus Heaney, Muldoon focuses on the recurrence and etymology of particular words as they relate to other poems and poets, quoting the OED almost as often as poetry. He also locates the poems' origins in other unlikely texts, such as a little-known 1851 Harper's article, which Muldoon claims influenced Dickinson. While some of Muldoon's conjectures may seem far-fetched, they are always highly compelling and clever, and this book provides an expansive view of the mind of a major poet, and a fresh, if unorthodox, method for reading literary texts. This volume is released concurrently with Horse Latitudes, a new collection of poems (Reviews, July 31)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon, "the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War" (The Times Literary Supplement), presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's "All Souls' Night" to Stevie Smith's "I Remember" to Fernando Pessoa's "Autopsychography." Here Muldoon reminds us that the word "poem" comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: "a thing made or created." He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography--and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that "the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written." And he writes of the boundaries or borders between writer and reader and the extent to which one determines the role of the other.

At the end, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase "the end of the poem": the interpretation that centers on the "aim" or "function" of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent, deeply learned, often funny, and always stimulating, The End of the Poem is a vigorous and accessible approach to looking at poetry anew.

"Synopsis" by ,
In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon dazzlingly explores a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's "All Souls' Night" to Stevie Smith's "I Remember" to Fernando Pessoa's "Autopsychography." Muldoon reminds us that the word "poem" comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: "a thing made or created." He asks: Can a poem ever be a free-standing structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography--and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that "the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written."

Finally, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase "the end of the poem": the interpretation that centers on the "aim" or "function" of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent and deeply learned, The End of the Poem is a vigorous approach to looking at poetry anew.

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