The poet Muldoon (Paul) writes what he writes what he writes. He, Joycean, busies himself within the very business of writing, layer upon lair. "Small birds were sounding the alert / as I followed her unladen / steed through a dell so dark and dank / she might have sported the waders / her grandfather had worn at the nadir / of his career, scouring the Outer Banks / for mummichog and menhaden," goes "Blenheim," in 2006's Horse Latitudes.
He writes of his family (servant father, schoolteacher mother), of his childhood in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. "My grandfather Frank Regan, cross-shanked, his shoulders in a moult, steadies the buff / of his underparts against the ledge of the chimney bluff / of the mud-walled house in Cullenramer ...."
In 1990's "Madoc (A Mystery)," he seems to write in personas historical. (Epicurus: "They tip / Coleridge into the icy tub / to bring him round. / His ornate / serge-de-Nîmes / vest and pantaloons / are laudanum- /mackled. His eyes a raccoon's."
Rock generation-born (1951), he's written a series of sleeve notes (Talking Heads' True Stories: "You can take the man out of Armagh but, you may ask yourself, / can you take the Armagh out of the man in the big Armani suit?") Peerlessly playful, he seems simply to have more words than anyone else.
A Princeton University professor, The New Yorker's poetry editor and winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry -- Muldoon, said The Times Literary Suppelment, is "the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War."
He visits the International Poetry Forum this week.
Paul Muldoon 8 p.m. Wed., Oct. 15. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $12 ($8 students/seniors). 412-621-9893