The reason behind rhyme

From Guardian:

Muldoonmccabe64 Paul Muldoon’s Oxford lectures, The End of the Poem, offer a trenchant and clever analysis of the power of poetry, even finding space to salute Christ as a ‘great punster’, says Peter Conrad. Paul Muldoon’s premonitory title does not mean what it seems to say: these lectures, delivered during his time as professor of poetry at Oxford, are far from being an obsequy for the art. Poems, if they are good, need never end. A poem, as Auden said when explaining how one was written, cannot be finished: it is simply abandoned by a poet who can add no more to it. The reader then takes over and, with luck, discovers another kind of endlessness: reading leads to rereading, as the words are coaxed into releasing subtler, richer meanings, dilating into ever ampler contexts.

Unlike many of his predecessors, Muldoon chooses not to generalise about poetry. Instead, he explicates individual poems, one per lecture. The procedure demands close attention, but the results are revelatory. Reading here is a collaborative recreation and, at their best, Muldoon’s interpretations – sometimes whimsically tenuous, often breathtaking in their intellectual boldness – are like improvised, free associating poems.

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