Frederick Seidel Selected Poems

Frederick Seidel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 (288p) ISBN 978-0-374-26081-1
This selected, spanning half a century, demonstrates that Seidel’s renegade candor has only sharpened with age. With an erudite lexicon, staccato and ambling vignettes, and a frequently debonair tone, Seidel’s poems combine the sensibilities of the Greatest Generation and the Beats. They document a lust for life through a blunt and sensual dreamscape punctuated by labyrinthine conceits. The speaker’s carnal appetite is balanced with Romantic sentiments, “Your eyes gazed/ Sparkling and dark as hooves,/ They had seen you through languor and error./ They were so still. They were a child./ They were wet like hours/ And hours of cold rain.” Elsewhere, lust is intertwined with subservient reverence and theatrics: “You look like a field of flowers./ You look like flowers in a vase./ You look like brains and breasts./ You act like life stabbing death to death.” This book offers a slice of Seidel’s life: the amorous, the dark, the indulgent, and the restless mind captured by a master of craft. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 11/12/2020
Release date: 12/01/2020
Genre: Poetry
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