Literary Birthday – 20 June – Paul Muldoon

Happy Birthday, Paul Muldoon, born 20 June 1951.

Seven Quotes

  1. I think a book should be a piece of engineering or architecture in itself.
  2. I think one of the great things about being a writer is the extent to which it allows us to invent ourselves. It’s like being in a witness-protection program.
  3. I’m still very conscious of coming from a society where storytelling was much prized and praised. I was reminded the other day that the Celts had a god of eloquence by the name of Ogmios. Ogmios was still lurking in the back of the minds of my neighbours. They loved poems, songs, good stories. And still do.
  4. Words want to find chimes with each other, things want to connect.
  5. I don’t know if I’ve ever found a voice. In fact, I’m rather sceptical of that idea having any currency. Each poem demands its own particular voice. It’s not as if one size fits all.
  6. I suppose I was very conscious, in writing for radio and television, of the necessity to communicate immediately what one has to say.
  7. The point at which the poem should really begin is often where, in some other intellection, it might have ended. I never, for example, save my ‘big’ ideas for down the road. I start with the big idea and see how much further I can go.

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet who has published over 30 collections. He has received many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize. Moy Sand and Gravel was the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 20th June 2015