Frederick Seidel’s long devotion to Savile Row suits, Cleverley shoes, Ducati motorcycles, and Patek Philippe watches—accoutrements of the one percent, or at worst the two percent—has made him seem, though he grew up among bobby soxers, a Beau Brummell past his sell-by date. If at eighty he’s finally aged into himself, he’s a man no less at odds with the world. Seidel lives in a bespoke suit of amused rage and disappointment.

The poems in Widening Income Inequality, a phrase much in the news (and a splendid name for a grunge band), display Seidel’s poems at their most fetid and triumphant, their subjects often nipped from the headlines, phrases strewn like salt on an open wound, with a strong dose of political incorrectness added.


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