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Frank Bidart has always defied expectation and convention without ever sounding conscious of such an effort or veering into self-parody. Bidart's poetry is often all at once deeply generous of spirit, terrifyingly beautiful, and verging on the ecstatic in its glimpse of great turbulence just beneath the surface. Rhythmically Bidart possesses an astute sense of the music of speech, both on the page and in the ear—proving again Frost's assertion that "a dramatic necessity goes deep into the nature of the sentence." In the process Bidart forges a unique and uniquely American voice which combines, writes Seamus Heaney in one of the essays, "a Dantesque severity with an immediacy of voice and a contemporaneity of idiom that [is] as alive to the resources of the tape deck as it [is] to the tradition of the terza rima."
This collection of essays from thirty-six poets and writers puts Bidart in perspective for his numerous longtime readers and is sure to draw new adherents to one of our greatest living poets.
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