Paul Muldoon is the supreme mannerist of modern poetry: were he a painter, all his Madonnas would have long necks. His Heath Robinson rhyme schemes and formal experiments are among the most unmistakable signatures in contemporary poetry. A roll call of his prizes would be superfluous, yet acclaim for Muldoon has not been universal. There are those who think that in swapping Belfast for Princeton, and the short lyrics of Why Brownlee Left and Quoof for the baggy epics of Madoc and The Annals of Chile, his work lost something innocent and authentic. As One Thousand Things Worth Knowing virtuosically reminds us, this is a gross misrepresentation.