Maggot

Poems

Paul Muldoon

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks

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Of Plan B, which included several of the poems in Maggot, Robert McCrum recently said in the London Observer that “Paul Muldoon, who has done so much to reimagine the poet’s task, has surpassed himself with his latest collection.” In his eleventh full-length book, Muldoon reminds us that he is a traditional poet who is steadfastly at odds with tradition. If the poetic sequence is the main mode of Maggot, it certainly isn’t your father’s poetic sequence. Taking as a starting point W. B. Yeats’s remark that the only fit topics for a serious mood are “sex and the dead,” Muldoon finds unexpected ways of thinking and feeling about what it means to come to terms with the early twenty-first century. It’s no accident that the centerpiece of Maggot is an outlandish meditation on a failed poem that draws on the vocabulary of entomological forensics. The last series of linked lyrics, meanwhile, takes as its subject the urge to memorialize the scenes of fatal automobile accidents. The extravagant linkage of rot and the erotic is at the heart of not only the title sequence but also many of the round songs that characterize Maggot, and has led Angela Leighton, writing in The Times Literary Supplement, to see these new poems as giving readers “a thrilling, wild, fairground ride, with few let-ups for the squeamish.”

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Book Excerpts

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PLAN B
On my own head be it if, after the years of elocution and pianoforte,
the idea that I may have veered
away from the straight
and narrow of Brooklyn or Baltimore for a Baltic state
is one at which, all things being equal, I would demur.
A bit like Edward VII cocking his ear
at the mention of Cork. Yet it seems I've managed nothing more
than to have fetched up here.
To have fetched up here in Vilna—the linen plaids,
the amber, the orange-cap boletus
like a confession extorted from a birch,
the foot-wide pedestal upon which a prisoner would perch
on

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The FSG Reading Series with Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon reads some of his lyrics at the Russian Samovar in New York City. His most recent poetry collection is Maggot.

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About the Author

Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon is the author of ten books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Moy Sand and Gravel (FSG, 2002) and, most recently, Horse Latitudes (FSG, 2006). He teaches at Princeton University.

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Available Formats and Book Details

Maggot
Poems
Paul Muldoon

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
September 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374533014
ISBN10: 0374533016
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 144 pages
$14.00

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
August 2010
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374200329
ISBN10: 0374200327
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 144 pages
$24.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
8/5/2014
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429964883
ISBN10: 142996488X
144 pages
$9.99
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