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Metaphysical Dog


Metaphysical Dog Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner

Winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry

A National Book Award Finalist

A vital, searching new collection from one of finest American poets at work today

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 poets 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 third section of the book is titled “History is a series of failed revelations.”

     The result is one of the most fascinating and ambitious books of poetry in many years.

One of Publishers Weekly's Best Poetry Books of 2013

A New York Times Notable Book of 2013

An NPR Best Book of 2013

About the Author

Frank Bidarts most recent full-length collections of poetry are Watching the Spring Festival (FSG, 2008), 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 Wallace Stevens Award, and, most recently, the 2007 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. He teaches at Wellesley College and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Product Details

Bidart, Frank
Farrar Straus Giroux
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
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