Desire

Frank Bidart, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $20 (64p) ISBN 978-0-374-13824-0
Unearthed from a dark subconscious and broadcast through classical tropes, desire, for Bidart, is not simply an emotion. It is a force ancient, long-buried and profane: ""...telling those who swarm around him his desire/ is that an appendage from each of them/ fill, invade each of his orifices--."" There are seductions of the dead (""Don't worry I know you're dead/ but tonight// turn your face again/ toward me"") and corruption of the young (""What he was doing was something I'd always// crave in later life, just as he did""). The Roman Empire, Greek and Roman mythologies and a lover's death are alluded to throughout this fifth collection, heightening a pervasive sense of tragedy. ""The Second Hour of the Night"" occupies more than half the book and tells of Myrrah, mother of Adonis, who slept with her father and then could bear to be neither alive nor dead. The gods respond by transforming her into a tree: ""She must/ submit, lose her body to an alien/ body not chosen, as the source of ecstasy is/ not chosen."" For Bidart we are helpless in the face of what we crave, and often powerless to remedy loss or resolve contradiction. A poem after Catullus reads in its entirety: ""I hate and--love. The sleepless body hammering a nail nails itself, hanging crucified."" (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 84 pages - 978-0-374-52599-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.