Muldoon’s poetry is characterised by circularity which “is both a thematic and aesthetic principle” and he has “deployed the large-scale circular structures, with repeated rhyme words” (Twiddy 18). For example, the weapon of destruction, the quartz, is mentioned at the beginning of the poem (L. 25), and the poet refers to again at the end of the poem (L. 686) to describe the protagonist’s end. Muldoon is well-known for his technical versatility that emphasises the surface effects of his poetry such as: “the inclusion of outrageous rhymes, literal clichés, the avoidance of a determinate tense, his self-referential wordplay, his anecdotal, misdirecting narratives” yet such strategies reflect the technical ingenuity of a poet at his full powers and suggest that his literary allusions are not employed arbitrarily, but rather they guide readers to assimilate the hot issues surrounding them, particularly the role of the writer in a time of violence (Alcobia-Murphy, Sympathetic Ink 15).
In Quoof, Muldoon shows how assassinations, car bombs, terrorist attacks and hunger strikes in Belfast become part of the daily routine. However, he reports violence in a somewhat humorous way. His main aim is to shock the readers to show to what extent violence is appalling. He believes that the British should not have been in Northern Ireland and shows by different means how he hates all forms of violence. “The More a Man Has” “engages the dissenting techniques in the creation of a tragi-comic