Desire Poems

Frank Bidart

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

84 Pages



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In Frank Bidart's collection of poems, the encounter with desire is the encounter with destiny. The first half of the book contains some of Bidart's most luminous and intimate work—poems about the art of writing, Eros, and both the desolation and mirror of history. The second half, comprised entirely of a long poem entitled "The Second Hour of the Night," pushes the overt lyricism of the opening section into even more ambitious territory. In this piece we find a profound and complex meditation on the illusion of will—and it may be Bidart's most seductive dramatic poem to date.


Praise for Desire

"[Desire] is insightful, disturbing, complex, personal, painstaking, and driven. Almost no poet since Robert Lowell . . . has written verse that so successfully exemplifies these qualities."—Stephen Burt, The New Leader

"Cementing his reputation as a poet of astonishing originality, Bidart revisits classical encounters—the aftermath of a battle described by Tacitus, an incestuous romance in Ovid—and fashions them into a poetic idiom uniquely his own."—David Lehman, People

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Frank Bidart's poems are collected in In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90 (FSG, 1990). In 1998 he won the Bobbitt Prize and received a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He teaches at Wellesley College.
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  • Frank Bidart

  • Frank Bidart's early poems are collected in In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90 (FSG, 1990). He is the recipient of many awards, including the Wallace Stevens Award and the Bobbitt Prize. In 2007, he was awarded the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. He teaches at Wellesley College.
  • Frank Bidart Emma Dodge Hanson