Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374525996, 84pp.
Publication Date: March 30, 1999
Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry.
I hate and--love. The sleepless body hammering a nail nails itself, hanging crucified.--from "Catullus: Excrucior" In Frank Bidart's collection of poems, the encounter with desire is the encounter with destiny. The first half contains some of Bidart's most luminous and intimate work-poems about the art of writing, Eros, and the desolations and mirror of history (in a spectacular narrative based on Tacitus). The second half of the book exts the overt lyricism of the opening section into even more ambitious territory-"The Second Hour of the Night" may be Bidart's most profound and complex meditation on the illusion of will, his most seductive dramatic poem to date.
Desire is a 1997 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry.
About the Author
Praise For Desire: Poems…
“[Desire] is insightful, disturbing, complex, personal, painstaking, and driven. Almost no poet since Robert Lowell . . . has written verse that so successfully exemplifies these qualities.” —Stephen Burt, The New Leader
“Cementing his reputation as a poet of astonishing originality, Bidart revisits classical encounters--the aftermath of a battle described by Tacitus, an incestuous romance in Ovid--and fashions them into a poetic idiom uniquely his own.” —David Lehman, People