Desire: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Desire: Poems

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  10 reviews
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 writ...more
Paperback, 61 pages
Published March 30th 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Desire, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Desire

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 377)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is an extraordinary meditation on... well, desire. Love, lust, longing, the complications that accompany that which we cannot control or change. Love of love as much as love of the beloved. The desire to want something else, to be someone else. After reading the first half of the book, I described Bidart's work to a friend as sparse and powerful. He uses the spaces between words, the ideas connecting and inhabiting them, deftly, building and repeating in an almost musical way.

"The Return,"...more
Fungus Gnat

This is Bidart’s 5th book of poems, counting as 4th a “collected” summation. The book is divided into two parts, the first a series of 13 pieces ranging from less than half a page to five pages in length, the second consisting of a single 33-page poem entitled “The Second Hour of the Night.”

This is the first of Bidart’s books I’ve read, which is one more than I have read of almost every other living poet, so that gives you some idea how little attention you should pay to what I have to say.

I ca...more
Rui Carlos da Cunha
The book is mostly amazing for the poem, "The Second Hour of the Night" which is 33 pages of sheer brilliance. In the first 21 pages, there is a poem, "The Return" that foreshadows the level of aesthetic quality that approaches in the latter half of the book, but the poem "Borges and I" is a silly imitation of the Argentinian master. The two "halves" of the book are so dissimilar that only the usage of "pre-existing forms" that are liberally scattered throughout allows for a coherence between th...more
The concept I see Bidart describing in this book is difficult to articulate, which is one the things that pulls me into the book. In some way, Bidart wants to show how desire can actually begin to feel like a concrete object, or a body, that is independent of our physical bodies. And this desire takes on a life, poses demands, and compels us to people or ideas we wouldn't normally consider. The central poem of the book, "The Second Hour of the Night" tells the myth of Myrrha, and her adolescent...more
Bidart's work does sometimes require some code-breaking, which may account for some people's ho-hum reaction. You often have to work to be wowed. But the work can pay off. The longer poems in particular have a density more commonly found in prose, but their lyricism is so weirdly effectively that you sometimes understand without understanding how.

That said, I found Desire to be less ecstatic and more labored than his more recent collection, Stardust. I would send skeptics in that direction.
Christina Marie Rau
The book was interesting and worth the wait. It was about all different kinds of desire in war, in lust, and I suppose love. It was poetic. It was mythological. It was a story not in prose but in something that played on the page. I read it in half an hour. It was short.
Aug 18, 2008 Haines marked it as to-read
Shelves: books-on-pause
I was given this one back in college and have read it a few times - everything except "The Second Hour of the Night." I plan to read that long poem soon.
Eliza T. Williamson
May 11, 2008 Eliza T. Williamson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Eliza T. by: Chris Bock
Shelves: poetry
Bidart created a gritty, touching and at times surprising collection of poems. It was a pleasure to see "fuck" used in a poem and have it work.
Molly M M
I wish more people would read his stuff.
Aug 01, 2007 Melissa added it
Shelves: 2005reads
dull. No desire
Lauren marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2014
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Kimberly Spivey
Kimberly Spivey marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Eric Albert
Eric Albert marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2014
Emily Livingstone
Emily Livingstone marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2014
Anthony Mongelluzzo
Anthony Mongelluzzo marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2014
Advait marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2014
Daniel added it
Jul 17, 2014
Hieu Huynh
Hieu Huynh marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2014
Kerry marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2014
Joannanana Ruth
Joannanana Ruth marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2014
Sagi R
Sagi R marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Star Dust Metaphysical Dog In the Western Night: Collected Poems, 1965-1990 Watching the Spring Festival: Poems Music Like Dirt: A Chapbook

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“We fill pre-existing forms and when we fill them change them and are changed.” 6 likes
More quotes…