OVERRIDE

Watching the Spring Festival

Poems

Frank Bidart

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This is Frank Bidart’s first book of lyrics—his first book not dominated by long poems. Narrative elaboration becomes speed and song. Less embattled than earlier work, less actively violent, these new poems have, by conceding time’s finalities and triumphs, acquired a dark radiance unlike anything seen before in Bidart’s long career. Mortality—imminent, not theoretical—forces the self to question the relation between the actual life lived and what was once the promise of transformation. This plays out against a broad landscape. The book opens with Marilyn Monroe, followed by the glamour of the eighth-century Chinese imperial court (seen through the eyes of one of China’s greatest poets, Tu Fu). At the center of the book is an ambitious meditation on the Russian ballerina Ulanova, Giselle, and the nature of tragedy. All this gives new dimension and poignance to Bidart’s recurring preoccupation with the human need to leave behind some record or emblem, a made thing that stands, in the face of death, for the possibilities of art. Bidart, winner of the 2007 Bollingen Prize in American Poetry, is widely acknowledged as one of the significant poets of his time. This is perhaps his most accessible, mysterious, and austerely beautiful book.

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Praise for Watching the Spring Festival

In the Press

Frank Bidart's NBCC Award Acceptance Speech | Work in Progress
Early in my life Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell gave me the great gift of their friendship.  The dilemma they faced at the beginning of their writing life is the same dilemma that every serious poet has faced since
- FSG's Work in Progress

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Frank Bidart

  • Frank Bidart’s most recent full-length collections of poetry are Star Dust (FSG, 2005), Desire (FSG, 1997), and In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90 (FSG, 1990). He has won many prizes, including the 2007 Bollingen Prize in American Poetry.
  • Frank Bidart Emma Dodge Hanson
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Available Formats and Book Details

Watching the Spring Festival

Poems

Frank Bidart

National Book Awards Finalist, Pulitzer Prize - Finalist
  • Trade Paperback

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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