If a poet sidles up to you and whispers that he’s been writing song lyrics, take my advice and run like hell! You might be fleeing the next Irving Berlin; but odds are the fellow’s one more deluded soul who thinks lyrics and poetry have something to do with each other. Paul Muldoon is a man of many hats—Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, poetry editor of The New Yorker, president of the Poetry Society in Britain, professor at Princeton, and author of some of the quirkiest, most devious, crossword-puzzle-complicated, head-turningest poems of the past thirty years. He’s clever in ways that almost give clever a good name. Still, a few years back, at about the time that middle-aged gents go nuts over Miatas and flock to high bridges where they...


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