Paul Muldoon: Why Brownlee Left (1836 words)


Originally published in 1980, Paul Muldoon's third full collection marked the advancement of an already distinctive poetic style, the maturing of the full-blown “Muldoonian” manner. New Weather (1973) and Mules (1977) had given ample evidence of the poet's potential, establishing his characteristic themes (childhood, sex, violence, pop culture, mythology, fluid identities, alternative lives) and hinting at his formal range. Here, though, he displays an extended vocal confidence and technical facility, an ever more ironic and playful mode of expression. The book includes typically eroded versions of - among others - the heroic couplet, the ballad, the sonnet, and the sonnet sequence. Increasingly anomalous for Muldoon, i…

Citation: Phillips, Ivan. "Why Brownlee Left". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 August 2003 [, accessed 10 July 2020.]

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