Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Ooga-Booga

Ooga-Booga

Poems

Frederick Seidel

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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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 Frederick Seidel, "the most frightening American poet ever" (Calvin Bedient, Boston Review).

Reviews

Praise for Ooga-Booga

“The poems in OOGA-BOOGA are [Seidel's] richest yet and read like no one else's: They're surreal without being especially difficult, and utterly unpretentious, suffused with the peculiar American loneliness of Raymond Chandler ... 'Barbados' is the loveliest [poem] Seidel has written to date, and he's perfected the subtle rhythms and rhymes that rocket the stanzas forward like his Ducati 916SPS. While I can think of a more likable book of poems, I can scarcely imagine a better one.” —Alex Halberstadt, NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“Having delivered his fin-de-siecle masterpiece, THE COSMOS TRILOGY, in 2003, Seidel could be forgiven for taking it easy this time out, but he needn't be cut any slack: These poems are as beguiling and magisterial as anything the septuagenarian jet-setter has written. I can't decide whether Seidel has more in common with Philip Larkin or John Ashbery, but the fact that he can prompt such a bizarre question is more revealing than any possible answer ... I hope Seidel wears a helmet while riding his beloved Ducati; it would be intolerable to see this great strange brain spilled.” —Joel Brouwer, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“I spent that evening with three of Seidel's collections. Some of it was profoundly beautiful . . . This sort of poem was atypical, however. Generally, reading Seidel was like riding shotgun on a Ducati racer . . . Quick propulsive speed and sudden screeching stops, hairpin turns into spooky alleys. His voice and verse were razor-edged . . . The writing willing to say the unsayable.” —Philip Connors, N+1

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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