I am reading Paul Muldoon's poems, and I am sometimes left confused and in limbo about the meanings of the many of out-of-the-way place names and terms I do not understand. What should I do in these circumstances?
I try to read through and listen to the sound scape and wait for the meaning to emerge eventually, but then I am left unsatisfied when I do not understand some of these sentences.
Take his poem the Incantata. Here is the beginning of the poem:
I thought of you tonight, a leanbh, lying there in your long barrow
colder and dumber than a fish by Francisco de Herrera,
as I X-Actoed from a spud the Inca
glyph for a mouth: thought of that first time I saw your pink
spotted torso, distant-near as a nautilus,
when you undid your portfolio, yes indeedy,
and held the print of what looked like a cankered potato
at arm's length-your arms being longer, it seemed, than Lugh's.
What does it mean to "X-Acto from a spud the Inca glyph for a mouth"? Who is Francisco de Herrera? A google search tells me he is a painter, but why bring it up?
I do not want to set this aside because whatever I do understand from Muldoon's poems, I love. How do you deal with similar problems when reading poetry?