Against Silence: Poems (Hardcover)
Author: Frank Bidart
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2021)
For more than fifty years, Frank Bidart has given voice to the inner self, to the depths of his own psyche and the unforgettable characters that populate his poems. In Against Silence, the Pulitzer Prize winner’s eleventh collection of poetry, Bidart writes of the cycles we cannot escape and the feelings we cannot forget. Our history is not a tabula rasa but a repeating, refining story of love and hate, of words spoken and old cruelties enacted. Moving among the dead and the living, the figures of his life and of his past, Bidart calls reality forth—with nothing settled and nothing forgotten, we must speak.
"Frank Bidart is a gift—we are lucky to have had him writing poetry for a half century. Against Silence is his eleventh collection, and continues his lifelong navigation of the uncertain spaces between haunting and love, and the fertile gap between words and the world."
“Against Silence is a bold, often painful exploration of regret and mortality . . . When I interviewed Bidart in 2015 for Life of a Poet, he said, 'There is a kind of beast within us that wants to destroy us, and I think people who manage to do what they set out to do have overcome some very profound impulse toward self-destruction.' Few poets have managed to do as much as Bidart."
"In Against Silence, [Bidart] seems interested in individual and collective ethics, and sees a threat in silence—both the kind that opposes speech in life and the kind found in death, which we’re all up against. His poems float and swerve, at once cinematic and oddly intimate . . . His poems recognize, and help us recognize, the inherent harm in what we hold dear, defend and even worship."