“This collection highlights Bidart’s enduring themes and concerns, among them: desire and shame and the quest to find truth and freedom.”
Featured in Washington Post’s Best Poetry Collections of 2017.
Half-light includes fifty years’ worth of daring, revelatory poems. It’s not just a book of the year but a book for the decade.
Frank Bidart’s poetry over fifty years has formed a new methodology for an autobiographical material, mainly by giving voice to the inner travails of other people’s lives, both real and imagined. The readers of this book get a chance to see how Frank Bidart, slows content merely to ‘say what happened’ in prefab stanzas, performs poetry of expressions’.
Poet skips the drawbacks of curative poetry by ennobling thought itself. There’s something significant in the maverick poet who cheats conventional aesthetics to make a temple of the mind. This book signifies the human element in all its pages, whether it’s that of the child-murderer White, the compulsive malnourished Ellen West or the annoying genius Vaslav Nijinsky.
This latest book of Bidart incorporates all his previous books, and also includes the latest collection, Thirst, in which he is forbidding his life, laying it plain for us before venturing into something new and unknown. Bidart finds himself a “Creature attached with thirst,” still longing, still searching for himself, one of the “characters of the universe.”
This is a massive book that covers 50 years of words. Bidart has collected enough routes and themes to produce years of reading. Collected together, the poems of Frank Bidart perform one of the significant conversion of the body into a language in contemporary literature.