Bidart, Frank. “Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016”, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
WINNER OF THE 2018 PULITZER PRIZE IN POETRY AND THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY
The collected works of one of contemporary poetry’s most original voices, Frank Bidart has the ability to turn the body into language and dares to go into the dark places of the human psyche. This new Pulitzer Prize winning volume, “Half-Light” contains a all of Bidart’s previous books, and a new collection, “Thirst”. On “Thirst”, Bidart examines his life before he moves on to do something new. It is here that he sees himself as one who is still searching for who he is and on of the “queers of the universe.” Throughout the entire collection, Bidart is a visionary with revelations and both unguarded and intimate. He is an unresolved conflict that is constantly renewed who is eternally restless.
Here is a collection of fifty years of poetry that gives voice to what goes on inside of both real and imagined people. It some senses it is autobiographical.
Bidart has the ability to transform a poem into “a vocalized (albeit anguished) performance of consciousness and moral interrogation, an occasion for metaphysical speculation that is oracular and sublime.” Then there are Bidart’s thoughts on
homophobia, doubt, and a parent’s confusing love can shape a gay child. Bidart gives us an invocation of love even where that love no longer exists and thoughts on friendship and mortality.
Bidart is intense and this comes out of need, desire and his own art as a poet. He shows us what it means to be human.