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 ‚ÄúThose Nights,‚ÄĚ Frank Bidart writes: ‚ÄúWe who could get / somewhere through / words through / sex could not.‚ÄĚ¬†Words and sex, art and flesh: In Metaphysical Dog, Bidart explores their nexus.¬†The result stands among this deeply adventurous poet‚Äôs 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‚Äô 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 ‚Äúancient work‚ÄĚ reflects what the poet sees as fundamental in human feeling, what psychologists and mystics have called the ‚Äúhunger for the Absolute‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒa 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 ‚ÄúHistory is a series of failed revelations.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬† 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