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Horse Latitudes

Poems

Paul Muldoon

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The title of Horse Latitudes, Paul Muldoon's tenth collection of poetry, refers to those areas thirty degrees north and south of the equator where sailing ships tend to stand becalmed in mid-ocean, where stasis (if not stagnation) is the order of the day, and where sailors, in the days when Spanish vessels transported horses to the West Indies, would throw their live cargo overboard to lighten the load and conserve food and water. From Bosworth Field to Beijing, from the Battle of the Boyne to Bull Run, from a series of text messages written to the nineteenth-century Irish poet Tom Moore to an elegy for Warren Zevon, and from post-Agreement Ireland to George W. Bush's America, this book presents us with fields of battle and fields of debate in which we often seem to have come to a standstill, but in which language that has been debased may yet be restruck and made current to our predicament. Weaving between popular song and riddle, between haiku and densely compressed narrative, Horse Latitudes is a new collection by an esteemed poet.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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HORSE LATITUDES

BEIJING

I could still hear the musicians

cajoling those thousands of clay

horses and horsemen through the squeeze

when I woke beside Carlotta.

Life-size, also. Also terra-cotta.

The sky was still a terra-cotta frieze

over which her grandfather still held sway

with the set square, fretsaw, stencil,

plumb line, and carpenter’s pencil

his grandfather brought from Roma.

Proud-fleshed Carlotta. Hypersarcoma.

For now our highest ambition

was simply to bear the light of the day

we had once

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REVIEWS

Praise for Horse Latitudes

"Paul Muldoon is a shape-shifting Proteus to readers who try to pin him down . . . Those who interrogate Muldoon's poems find themselves changing shapes each time he does. . .authentically touched or delighted." -Richard Eder, The New York Times Book Review

"Without question one of the most inventive poets writing in English today." -Andrew Frisardi, The Boston Sunday Globe

Praise for Moy Sand and Gravel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize:

"Moy Sand and Gravel, Muldoon's ninth book of poems in twenty years, shimmers with play, the play of mind, the play of recondite information over ordinary experiences, the play of observation and sensuous detail, of motion upon custom, of Irish and English languages and landscapes, of meter and rhyme." -Peter Davison, The New York Times Book Review

"[Moy Sand and Gravel] demonstrate[s] why [Muldoon] is regarded by many as the most sophisticated and original poet of his generation . . . dazzling." -Mark Ford, The New York Review of Books

"Certainly one of the most beguiling and delightful of writers." -The Economist

"A glittering vindication of complexity." -Brian Dillon, Time Out

"Fanciful, brief, strong and sprung by twinkle-eyed winks at the readers' intelligence, these poems will certainly stand the test of time, and of many readings." -John Freeman, The Seattle Times

"Paul Muldoon is the most original Irish poet of his generation . . . Muldoon's voice, with its taste for meaty unpronounceables and querulous urgencies, it like no other in contemporary poetry. While it distinguishes him from his acknowledged mentor Seamus Heaney and other brilliant Irish rhetoricians, it also establishes an honored place among them." -William Doreski, Harvard Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Paul Muldoon

  • 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, between1999 and 2004, was professor of poetry at Oxford University.
  • Paul Muldoon Peter Cook
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Horse Latitudes

Poems

Paul Muldoon

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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