Word Freak

Charles McGrath in the New York Times Magazine:

MuldoonFor some reason, Northern Ireland produces poets the way the Dominican Republic does baseball players. The M.V.P., the Pedro Martínez, is of course Seamus Heaney — or Famous Seamus, as he became known after winning the Nobel Prize in 1995. In the next generation there are a number of up-and-coming stars, including Frank Ormsby, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian and the poet most likely to inherit Heaney’s mantle, if he hasn’t already, Paul Muldoon. The first meeting of Heaney and Muldoon, at a county museum in Armagh in the late 60s, has been embroidered in some accounts into a mystical laying on of hands and a landmark of Irish literary legend — an occasion as momentous in its way as the first meeting of James Joyce and the 21-year-old Samuel Beckett.

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