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Moy Sand and Gravel Hardcover – Oct 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre / Not Applicable; 1 edition (Oct. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374214808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374214807
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 16.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,494,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
With my back to the wall and a foot in the door and my shoulder to the wheel I would drive through Seskinore. Read the first page
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By Dermot on Dec 30 2002
Format: Hardcover
Here's a Muldoon pastiche:
Basement
Then to spy
in an unused cellar spot
Under a bulb fixture
long since jury-rigged
in deal cast-off
And between oil tank
and salt-scalloped stone wall
--Between a ruck
and a carapace--
A tiny skeleton--mouse.
My instinct:
to trip-tipsy the dark
--As even the Dean
and Cuchulain might--
fantastic.
[My opinion is that Muldoon peaked in 1990 with his tour de force, MADOC--A Mystery, the book-length poem and astounding work of the imagination. MADOC was large, confounding, mysterious, lyrical, and sui generis (really). Yet many readers/reviewers did not appreciate it. Since that work, Muldoon seemingly has tried to obtain such appreciation by offering more manageable fare--featuring topical themes, easy wit, sentiment, form, and rhyme (not to mention all those pretty names of Irish places). He has served up plates of warm apercus. If that is your thing--fine. He is terribly accomplished--his more recent poems, including those of Moy Sand and Gravel, sparkle with polish and panache. But I will take the polar edge of the creative MADOC thankyouverymuch.]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Good Stuff Dec 30 2002
By Dermot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Here's a Muldoon pastiche:
Basement
Then to spy
in an unused cellar spot
Under a bulb fixture
long since jury-rigged
in deal cast-off
And between oil tank
and salt-scalloped stone wall
--Between a ruck
and a carapace--
A tiny skeleton--mouse.
My instinct:
to trip-tipsy the dark
--As even the Dean
and Cuchulain might--
fantastic.
[My opinion is that Muldoon peaked in 1990 with his tour de force, MADOC--A Mystery, the book-length poem and astounding work of the imagination. MADOC was large, confounding, mysterious, lyrical, and sui generis (really). Yet many readers/reviewers did not appreciate it. Since that work, Muldoon seemingly has tried to obtain such appreciation by offering more manageable fare--featuring topical themes, easy wit, sentiment, form, and rhyme (not to mention all those pretty names of Irish places). He has served up plates of warm apercus. If that is your thing--fine. He is terribly accomplished--his more recent poems, including those of Moy Sand and Gravel, sparkle with polish and panache. But I will take the polar edge of the creative MADOC thankyouverymuch.]
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Solid collection best read after his previous three volumes April 10 2005
By John L Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My rating does not mean this is average poetic work, only that by comparison to his last three collections, it less frequently reaches their daunting and rarified heights. It's actually a better place to start reading the "later" Muldoon, in fact. Domesticity has tamed a bit of the bravura evident in the arcane lore dazzling the other collections perhaps too much. Poems here like "Unapproved Road," mixing Taureg with IRA in its 1950s failed "border campaign," wittily contrast in a way that Muldoon warms to more and more as his work confronts his own hyphenating midlife identity into an American as much as an Irish poet. "Guns & Butter," "Whitethorns," "A Brief Course on Decommissioning" address the post-1998 events in the North of Ireland intelligently and without pandering. His children and wife now enter his work to round it out more vividly, and at least some of the shorter poems here continue the clarity sought in "Hay"'s briefer verses.

The reason this collection loses a star is the last poem, as usual in his work a longer one: "At the Sign of the Black Horse." The Irish navvy-Jewish mogul undercurrent never convinces, but seems layered over the parental concerns. Where Muldoon often swerves to avoid obstacles, here he seems to plow ahead, but ends up floundering a bit when taking more time to expand and concentrate his direction would've made for a better poetic quest into a very deserving subject of culture clash.
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Obscure Oct. 17 2006
By elithian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Poetry is an art form that succeeds only if the reader can share with the poet a vision communicated by the poem. How this work won a pulitzer prize escapes me. The only way for an "outsider" the read this book is with an interpreter and a dictionary so the obscure, at least from my point of view, references can be appreciated. As a reader I get no sense of the images the writer wants to conjure and the poems fail to take me anywhere but to the cliff of reason where I am just left without a bridge for crossing. I do not wonder I was able to purchase this book for such a low price.

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