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About this book
Shortlisted for the National Book Award, and selected for The Globe Books 100 and New York Times 100 Most Noteable Books in 2013.
In a career-defining work, Frank Bidart brings us everything that makes him so remarkable in these indelible poems of sex, art, desire, and beauty.
In "Those Nights" Frank Bidart writes: "We who could get / somewhere through / words through / sex could not." Words and sex, art and flesh: in Metaphysical Dog, Bidart explores their nexus. The result stands among this deeply adventurous poet’s most powerful and achieved work, an emotionally naked, fearlessly candid journey through many of the central axes, the central conflicts of his life, and ours.
Near the end of the book, Bidart writes: "In adolescence, you thought your work ancient work: to decipher at last human beings’ relation to God. Decipher love. To make what was once whole whole again: or to see why it never should have been thought whole." This "ancient work" reflects what the poet sees as fundamental in human feeling, what psychologists and mystics have called the "hunger for the Absolute" — a hunger as fundamental as any physical hunger. This hunger must confront the elusiveness of the Absolute, our self-deluding, failed glimpses of it.
The result is one of the most fascinating and ambitious books of poetry in many years.
About the Author
Frank Bidart’s most recent full-length collections of poetry are Watching the Spring Festival, Star Dust, Desire, and In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has won many prizes, including the Wallace Stevens Award, and, most recently, the 2007 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. He teaches at Wellesley College.
Awards and Praise
- Commended New York Times Top 100 Noteable Books, 2013
- Short-listed National Book Award, 2013
- Commended Globe and Mail Top 100 Books, 2013