The poems in Ooga-Booga are about a youthful slave owner and his aging slave, and both are the same man. This is a collection from "the most frightening American poet ever" (Calvin Bedient, Boston Review).
“On the way to the Griffin Prize poetry reading the other night, I fell in with a fellow from Pakistan who said, ‘In my country, even if they have written 100 books, poets are always poor. Publishers are always cheating them, saying that their books did not sell’ . . . The main reason I went to the reading this year was to meet Frederick Seidel. His book, Ooga-Booga, is the best verse out of the United States since whatever. I brought my copy of Ooga with me. I have never sought the signature of another author before, which is just how good I think he is. Alas, Seidel was absent.”—Joe Fiorito, The Toronto Star"[T]his new collection has all the usual Seidel subjects, from fox hunts to violins to Paris and politics (Seidel even confesses twice, 'I repeat themes')—but this doesn't diminish the intensity, skill, or bravery of his masterfully shocking style of poetic acrobatics . . . [Some poems] stunningly throw open windows of thought by allowing disparate elements to unite in enlightening ways . . . [M]ost would be hard-pressed to disagree with his work's importance and originality, or deny his artistic courage. We need more poets like Seidel to rub us the wrong way, and induce us to think critically about our history, leaders, and actions."—Janet St. John, Booklist"The voices in Seidel's latest collection are sophisticated, wealthy, urbane, decadent, acerbic, and terminally unsatisfied ('I spend most of my time not dying'). Globetrotting, thrill-seeking, but insecure, they're unable to suppress the thoughts of failed love and mortality that stubbornly undermine their material obsessions ('Civilization is about having stuff') and escapist preoccupations ('You need a danger to be safe in'). They are destined to stay 'stylishly alive for awhile,' and, as voices of privilege and power, would not be expected to elicit much sympathy, but Seidel, whose poetry has been striking nerves since his first collection, Final Solutions, manages to expose their human vulnerabilities with psychological insight and candor. Though the unfashionable sensibilities of the fashionable will not charm everyone ('I sense your disdain, darling./ I share it'), Seidel's satiric, biting, and emotionally complex poems are playfully over the top—playful in the way that one might play with sharp objects—and merit close attention."—Fred Muratori, Library JournalContents
Frederick Seidel’s previous books of poems include The Cosmos Trilogy; Final Solutions; Sunrise; These Days; and Poems, 1959–1979. He received the 2002 PEN/Voelker Award for Poetry.
Listen to the poem 'Drinking in the Daytime'
Listen to the poem 'Bologna'
Listen to the poem 'Barbados'
Listen to the poem 'Climbing Everest'
Listen to the poem 'Death'
Listen to the poem 'Death of Shah'
Listen to the poem 'December'
Listen to the poem 'Dick and Fred'
Listen to the poem 'February'
Listen to the poem 'For Holly Anderson'
Listen to the poem 'France for Boys'
Listen to the poem 'Frederick Seidel'
Listen to the poem 'Fresh Stick'
Listen to the poem 'From Nijinsky'
Listen to the poem 'Gethsemane'
Listen to the poem 'In Cap Ferrat'
Listen to the poem 'Kill Poem'
Listen to the poem 'Nectar'
Listen to the poem 'The Owl You Heard'
Listen to the poem 'Racer'
Listen to the poem 'Violin'
Listen to the poem 'White Tiger'