Horse Latitudes (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
The title of one of Paul Muldoon’s earlier collections The Prince of the Quotidian (1994) aptly describes the poetic personae that he wished to present at the stage of his writing life when he had published seven volumes of poetry. In spite of the implications of the title, Muldoon had already distinguished his work by his inventive, even extravagant employment of an allusive technique that carried the often-specific circumstances of the poems toward an imaginative realm constructed from a frame of linguistic possibility.
In Horse Latitudes, Muldoon might be seen as claiming to be the Lord of the Land of Allusion, so energetically and enthusiastically has he pushed the styles of allusive exploration toward the outward reaches of a poem’s language field. As he told an interviewer in 1996 with respect to innovation, he had already advanced along “a road down which I can’t really go any further. The next step is Finnegan’s Wake,” James Joyce’s 1939 novel, where he would be “always a kind of fourth-rate Joyce.” “On the other hand,” he mused, “I don’t like the idea that there are limits.” This aspect of Muldoon’s poetry, however, is just one of several particularly prominent elements that he has introduced and refined in previous volumes.
The jacket cover of Horse Latitudes explains that the title is meant to convey a feeling of stagnation, referring to the region “where sailing...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Library Journal 131, no. 14 (September 1, 2006): 151.
The New Republic 235, no. 19 (November 6, 2006): 26-33.
The New York Review of Books 53, no. 20 (December 21, 2006): 78-80.
Publishers Weekly 253, no. 30 (July 31, 2006): 53-54.
The Times Literary Supplement, November 24, 2006, pp. 6-8.
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