Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy birthday Mr Seidel

From the end of Sunrise (Poems 1959-2009) by Fred Seidel:
I wake beneath my hypnopompic erection,
Forty stanzas, forty Easters of life,
And smile, eyes full of tears, shaking with rage.
That was originally published in 1980, four years after Seidel turned 40. The poem has forty stanzas in it and seems to range around the world, Milan, Perth, New York - all the while counting down, like some kind of doomsday device. It seems like his poems from this time are a bit different too, less morbid I think, often ending on more of an upbeat note - young men's poems? I don't know. Maybe this fortieth birthday poem was his move away from all that?

Like I guess, if you look at the excerpt from The Last Poem in Book (see two posts previous) he is definitely concerned with a sudden conclusion. A scary sort of ending, the kind that might incline you to cry and shake with rage.

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