A Poem by Frederick Seidel

January 22, 2021  By Frederick Seidel

God begins. The universe will soon.
The intensity of the baseball bat
Meets the ball. Is the fireball
When he speaks and then in the silence
The cobra head rises regally and turns to look at you.
The angel burns through the air.
The flower turns to look.

The cover of the book opens on its own.
You do not want to see what is on this page.
It looks up at you,
Only it is a mirror you are looking into.
The truth is there, and all around the truth fire
Makes a frame.
Listen. An angel. These sounds you hear are his.

A dog is barking in a field.
A car starts in the parking lot on the other side.
The ocean heaves back and forth three blocks away.
The fire in the wood stove eases
The inflamed cast-iron door
Open, steps out into the room across the freezing floor
To your perfumed bed where as it happens you kneel and pray.


Frederick Seidel: Selected Poems by Frederick Seidel

Excerpted from Frederick Seidel: Selected Poems by Frederick Seidel. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, December 1, 2020. Copyright © 2020 by Frederick Seidel. All rights reserved.

Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel has been hailed as “the poet of a new contemporary form” (Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books) and “the most frightening American poet ever” (Calvin Bedient, Boston Review). The poems in Frederick Seidel Selected Poems span more than five decades and provide readers with some of Seidel’s most powerful work. Frederick Seidel’s many books of poems include Peaches Goes It Alone, The Cosmos Trilogy, Ooga-Booga, Poems 1959–2009, Nice Weather, and Widening Income Inequality, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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