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In the Western Night: Collected Poems, 1965-1990
by Frank Bidart
In the Western Night brings together in one volume all of the poems to date, including many previously unpublished poems, of one of the most exciting and gifted poets writing today.
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published May 25th 1990 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(first published 1990)
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I fear too many poets these days are considered "good" merely because they're different, their aesthetic hard, their poetry disarming. Bidart is all of these things, but deserving of our highest praises because his poetry transcends gimmicks to become a new verse, one that is beautiful and painful. Read his long poem on Ninjinski, or the frightening "Herbert White" to see what I mean. Bidart is one of my favorites. These collection is essential for me, but really only paves the way to the later ...more
In the Western Night changed the way I thought about writing. The formatting at first was a little hard for me. I've never liked poems whose words are scattered all over, but with Bidart, I get it. It's like learning to listen to a different language, I think. At first you're only able to comprehend the smallest pieces of information. (Why is he distracting me by placing the words there?!) But suddenly the distractions fade away and the voice becomes clear. Aside from that, Bidart is a weighty w ...more
I got this as a gift one Christmas and having never heard of, nor read anything he had written, I was skeptical. Within the first few pages my skepticism had vanished and found myself enjoying almost every poem in this collection.