Ooga-Booga by Frederick Seidel

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From the winner of the PEN/Voelker Award, poems of love, terror,
rage, and desire.

Here I am, not a practical man,
But clear-eyed in my contact lenses,
Following no doubt a slightly different line than the others,
Seeking sexual pleasure above all else,
Despairing of art and of life,
Seeking protection from death by seeking it
On a racebike, finding release and belief on two wheels . . .
--from "The Death of the Shah"

The poems in Ooga-Booga are about a youthful slave owner and his aging slave, and both are the same man. This is the tenderest, most savage collection yet from "the most frightening American poet ever" (Calvin Bedient, Boston Review).

About Frederick Seidel

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Frederick Seidel's previous collection, Ooga-Booga, received the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Published November 14, 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 112 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ooga-Booga

The Guardian

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It's a typically Seidelian conceit - the race from death's shadow cast in terms of fine dining and crisp linen - but the message is clear: Seidel has no intention of going gently, and for that we should be thankful.

Jun 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Ooga-Booga: Poems

Publishers Weekly

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Seidel's 14th book finds his caustic vigor undiminished, his high-volume confidence as entertaining—or disturbing—as ever: gleeful antiwar protests and self-mocking, obvious rhymes zip easily among a bombed Baghdad, a deluxe version of Paris and a hyperbolically glitzy jetset New York.

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Open Letters Monthly

Snow is falling and he decides, “I will try to eat tonight: steamed cauliflower.” The poem actually begins, as far as I can see, in the next stanza, where he writes, “You would like the Emperor / Some days the joy is overpowering.” Does the poem mimic a letter home?

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New Haven Review

I don't know much about Seidel except he's rich, was born in 1936, published his first book of poems in 1962, and didn't publish another book until 1979.

Jun 18 2009 | Read Full Review of Ooga-Booga: Poems

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