These Days

Frederick Seidel, Author Knopf Publishing Group $18.95 (50p) ISBN 978-0-394-58022-7
Published simultaneously with Seidel's Poems, 1959-1979 , this volume opts for muted statements framed within formalist structures that often involve a strict rhyme scheme (``How easily I can erase an error, / The typos my recalling this will cause, / But no correcting key erases terror. / One ambulance attendant flashed his claws''). Pointed enjambment and polished meters distinguish the verse, but the autobiographical daring of his earlier work has evaporated. Instead, Seidel cloaks his experiences in socially conservative status symbols. The narrator continually drops the names of foreign cities and countries he seems merely to be passing through, tossing in foreign phrases for emphasis. Seidel's political sensibilities, forged in the 1960s, are given facile expression here, as in a poem entitled ``AIDS Days.'' ``I don't believe in anything,'' becomes the refrain of ``The Last Poem in the Book,'' and many readers may not pause to take Seidel at his word. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 50 pages - 978-0-679-72651-7
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