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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Frederick Seidel: Laureate of the Louche

The New York Times

A very interesting review & essay on Frederick Seidel is at

Here is a quote from the very last paragraphs:

“It’s very much,” Seidel said, “to do with the sense you develop, in the writing of a poem, that at a certain moment it has its separate being from you to which you have your obligations. You’re you; it’s it; and eventually, it really will separate from you and be absolutely not yours anymore — even if you made it. It is, of course. But it isn’t. It’s a thing out there.”

Seidel gestured to the window, to Manhattan, to the lights that shone in the dark. I looked at them and saw, reflected in the glass, hovering over the city, Seidel. I turned back to look at him, the real Seidel.

“So this is where you write?”

“My boy,” he said, “this is where I live.”

1 comment:

sophie klahr said...

i like that. Seidel is quite right about that moment where the poem becomes it's own animal. reminds me of an old story where a carpenter (or some sort of crafts-person) is lonely & makes a doll to keep him company. But once the doll has been fully made, it tests out it's legs and, to the carpenter's suprise & sadness, expresses the desire to run away.

i suppose it's not *what* the desire is, but the desire itself that's meaningful. and that's just what the poem does..