True to the formal conventions and the spirit of Aristophanes’ comedy of 414 BC, Paul Muldoon loads his translation with topical reference, nudges and winks to the audience, and the dynamic lyricism of the Chorus at its centre.
The original play — an uncanny precursor of Beckett — begins with the determination of a number of lost creatures to make sense of their predicament by establishing a new city. The troubles which ensue resonate with contemporary significance. Paul Muldoon captures the mayhem with typical mischief and brilliance. His Birds achieves that combination of clarity and complexity for which his poetry is so rightly honoured.