Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

"Ooga-Booga" by Frederick Seidel (Faber and Faber, 2006)

There's nearly 100 pages of poetry. I couldn't get to the end - too many gratuitous surprises, and I don't get the rhyming or repetition. Here are some samples -

  • Here's a bit of "Kill Poem"

    The title is Kill Poetry,
    And in the book poetry kills.
    In the poem the stag at bay weeps, literally.
    Kill poetry is the hallali on Avenue Paul-Valéry.
    Get rid of poetry. Kill poetry.
    Label on a vial of pills. Warning: Kill kill kill kills.
    Its title is Kill Poem,
    From the book Poetry kills.
  • (last stanza of "For Holly Andersen")

    She lost a very sick patient she especially cared about.
    The man died on the table. It wasn't a matter of feeling any guilt or doubt.
    Something about a doctor who can cure, or anyway try,
    But can also cry,
    Is some sort of ultimate lullaby, and lie.
  • (end of "The Italian Girl")

    Monsoon is over but it's raining.
    The rain keeps coming down. It gets you down. It's draining.
    The sticky heat in Singapore is really not that entertaining
  • (start of "The Owl you heard")

    The owl you heard hooting
    In the middle of the night wasn't me.
    It was an owl.
    Or maybe you were
    So asleep you didn't even hear it.
  • (from "East Hampton Airport")

    East Hampton is my harbor.
    I shall not want.
    The harbormaster maketh me to lie down
    In green pastures he has paved over.
  • (last stanza of "To Die For")

    I was looking for something to try for.
    I was looking for something to cry for.
    I was looking for something to die for.
    There isn't.
  • (last stanza of "Il Duce")

    Mussolini is standing on the little balcony
    Above Italy, and Italy is looking up at Mussolini on the balcony,
    Who is looking over at Ethiopia across a deep blue sea.
    I never have enough for me.
    I am getting on a girl motorcycle to go across the sea to see

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