Frederick Seidel


Griffin Poetry Prize 2007
International Shortlist

Book: Ooga-Booga

Poet: Frederick Seidel

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Caroline Cave reads from Barbados, by Frederick Seidel

from Barbados, by Frederick Seidel

from Barbados

A cane toad came up to them.
They’d never seen anything so remarkable.
Now they could see the field was full of them.
Suddenly the field is filled with ancestors.
The hippopotamuses became friendly with the villagers.
Along came white hunters who shot the friendly hippos dead.
If they had known that friendship would end like that,
They never would have entered into it.
Suddenly the field is filled with souls.
The field of sugarcane is filled with hippopotamus cane toads.
They always complained
Our xylophones were too loud.
The Crocodile King is dead.
The world has no end.

From Ooga-Booga, by Frederick Seidel
Copyright © 2006 by Frederick Seidel

One Reply to “Frederick Seidel”

  1. I was wondering if your use of certain words such as “sugarcane”, “hippopotamus cane toads”, and “Crocodile King” may have syllables synonymous with the octaves of a certain song from the Barbados. I hope I don’t sound ignorant, and I apologize if I do.

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