Frolic and Tour

Farrar. Nov. 2019. 144p. ISBN 9780374158392. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374721435. poetry;.
Mostly formal verse, the poems in Pulitzer Prize winner Muldoon’s latest collection offer variations of the sonnet, sestina, and villanelle as they revel in playful homophones, technical virtuosity, and twisted clichés. “A Rooster in Tepoztlán,” one of the final poems, illustrates Muldoon’s technique and is also one of the best. According to Muldoon, it was inspired by his experience teaching at Under the Volcano, a writing program in the Mexican town of Tepoztlán, known as the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl. Set in early morning just before Lauds, the poem shows “the street-dog choristers” losing out to a single rooster. The poem, written in seven parts and including four tercets per section, is packed with details as Muldoon notes the din of life outside his window. He also muses, as in other poems here, on the present chaotic state of the world as well as his own Irish past.
VERDICT As one might expect, these poems are replete with numerous allusions to Catholicism
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