On Frank Bidart: Fastening the Voice to the Page
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 that combines, writes Seamus Heaney in one of this book’s 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 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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... whatever is in the frame becomes an emblem of chance ; you can't just go on doing that forever . ... and I'm not going to tell you what's what ” —it's very hard for that art not to become boring , not to become repetitious .
The way to approach freedom was to acknowledge necessity :I sensed I had to become not merely a speaker , the " eye , " but a character ... And you had to become a character : with a past , with a set of internal contradictions and ...
He felt terror at the prospect of becoming again the person who could find or see or make no mirror , for even Olivier , trying to trap the beast who had killed his father , when he suavely told Frank as Frank listened to the phonograph ...
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Frank Bidarts Voice
The Tumult in the Heart Keeps Asking Questions 2
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