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The Cosmos Poems (Anglais) Broché – janvier 2000


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Broché, janvier 2000
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Book by Seidel Frederick

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HASH(0x8e419b94) étoiles sur 5 Seidel, on fairly good behavior 18 janvier 2011
Par Althea - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The Cosmos Poems are disarmingly deep and equally daffy, with few of Seidel's usual caustics or hostilities, though written with his customary fragmentation and abrupt lane changes. The 33 poems that comprise the book are all written in quatrains--though that appears to be a nominal concession to form in order to wreak havoc elsewhere. One gets used to his unlikely juxtapositions and strange bursts of imagery after a while, but at first it's like listening to a CD with a scratch on the disc--a coherent phrase here, a snatch of haphazard genius there and plenty of raw noise in-between.

He might have a reason for writing like this and it might have to do with his impatience with his own intelligence. Seidel is obviously a smart guy but he's not about the obvious. He's about covert beauty, the balancing of ambiguity and arch observation, and speed. His manner of communicating is glancing at best. He doesn't do live readings and it's no wonder--telepathy would be required to catch half of what he is suggesting. Even on the page it's no picnic. Intuitively I started filling in the blanks between the lucid lines and the furtive allusions with everything I knew about the Cosmos--light speed, dark matter, time, dimensionality, gravity--but it was still hard to track his trajectory. So in a sense, these poems are oddly interactive, with the reader maintaining the creative vacuum of background space so that Seidel can use language to generate alternate Galaxies that form and dissolve in seconds.

These poems were commissioned by the American Museum of Natural History for the opening of its new Planetarium. I can only imagine what the project managers thought when they received Seidel's manuscript. Is he some sort of lunatic? Is he mocking us? Both and more. He's also mocking himself, and taking a few ironic jabs at politics, religion and society while he's at it. What redeems all this is that he's seriously enamored with the weird science and the strange beauty of the Cosmos. Whatever it means to be human--to be bound by minds, bodies, and gravity to the planet and each other--he documents his connotations from a naïve, almost childlike perspective. This is unusual for him. The enfant terrible of American poetry, confronted by something so vast and so seemingly indifferent as the Cosmos, crawls up in the lap of it, and sits there twiddling contentedly with his action figures. The Universe smiles a little at his audacity, but doesn't push him off.
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