Poems 1959-2009
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Poems 1959-2009

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  15 reviews
These are the collected poems of a master whose work includes many of the most compelling, savage, and tender poems in the language. Frederick Seidel is, in the words of the critic Adam Kirsch, “the best American poet writing today.”
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Diann Blakely
While it would probably make him produce “cow flops on the floor,” as Seidel writes in one of his many recent, disgust-filled poems about aging (especially as that process involves women), I find him perhaps the most adorably tonic current toilers in the art. Our reader-friendly age, as though by Pavlovian response, has come to bestow its highest praise on writers deemed “compassionate” and “empathetic,” as well as those whose risk-taking and “transgressiveness” involves a stage of promiscuous s...more
James Murphy
Seidel writes difficult poetry. His poetry seems gleaned from the French surrealists through Frank O'Hara and many have surrealistic ingredients at their center. To me what's so impressive is that he could make it such delightful reading, watching incongruous, ill-matched materials shift and shimmer within a poem and refer to each other until something powerful results. In this way his improvisations light fires in our imaginations and bring a measure of understanding to the world. But still, I...more
T Fool
It's fitting that I have not words that could possibly handle just how important or good these poems are. There's no way to match this man, this master.

Here's something: I hadn't heard of him until the Charlotte Rampling documentary film released late in 2010. Because she seemed to range among many interesting artists, I thought I'd acquaint myself.

This collection arranges itself from the present backwards -- a system I'd only seen in a Richard Wilbur collection.

I was shocked. Knocked out of my...more
Stop
Jun 08, 2009 Stop added it
Read the STOP SMILING review of Poems 1959-2009 , along with a review of Thom Gunn's Selected Poems (2009, FSG).

It is a special necessity to mention Seidel's biography when discussing his poetry, which is true of all dilettantes, or of those who play them. Seidel is rich, born into it, in fact. One suspects he is the only poet his rarified friends know, and this explains why his often brutal, weird poetry has been employed to commemorate the establishment of the Hayden Planetarium, or the collap...more
C F
I've enjoyed dipping into this volume ever since a friend of mine -- a devoted but not academic poet -- brought Frederick Seidel ("the Laureate of the Louches," as an excellent NYTimes Magazine portrait of Seidel put it a few years ago) to my attention. Seidel is intelligent and entertaining. Robert Lowell heralded his first book as the best book of poetry published in the U.S. in decades. That was long ago, of course (1970s?), so you might ask, what happened to the guy? Well, he's kept writing...more
Josh Luft
Frederick Seidel is cosmopolitan and corrupt, fearless and fearsome, privileged and perverse. He's a rich old man, a voice to utter our darker thoughts. He writes about aging, hotels, the Holocaust, motorcycles, sex, and the universe with grace and nastiness. His poems are unapologetic, displaying a mischievousness with his use of rhyme and a dark heart often conflicted. Seidel refuses to take part in the public life of poetry. He doesn't give readings, he provides no self-promotion. He just wri...more
Gene
Nov 27, 2012 Gene is currently reading it
Shelves: poetry
A brief comment: I'm not reading this book in sequence so my "progress" is misleading. Thus far I like it very much. Hadn't read much Seidel before. Plan to do a full review later.
Jeremiah Gould
Aug 15, 2011 Jeremiah Gould marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Seidel's dark confessional is part seance, calling dark aspects of our private thoughts out to deal with. So far these poems do some dirty (and I feel necessary)work.
Anthoferjea
One less motorcycle pane or dick joke would do me. also contains some of my favorite ever poems, so there's that. 'grandson born dead', 'home', forever.
Todd Melby
Brilliant. I haven't read everything, but I dip in from time to time. I am especially fond of the Ooga-Booga poems.
Genevieve
what could be said that the reviews on the back cover didn't already say
Tagg
Sometimes horrifying, sometimes mesmerizing.

Quadrotextual
Newly discovered by me, recently deceased, awesome so far.
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