the Academy of American Poets. It is a month-long national celebration of poetry. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.
April 16, 2018 -- Frank Bidart wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965–2016
That crazy drunken night I
maneuvered you out into a field outside of
Coachella—I’d never seen a sky
so full of stars, as if the dirt of our lives
still were sprinkled with glistening
white shells from the ancient seabed
beneath us that receded long ago.
Parallel. We lay in parallel furrows.
—That suffocated, fearful
look on your face.
Jim, yesterday I heard your wife on the phone
tell me you died almost nine months ago.
Jim, now we cannot ever. Bitter
that we cannot ever have
the conversation that in
nature and alive we never had. Now not ever.
We have not spoken in years. I thought
perhaps at ninety or a hundred, two
broken-down old men, we wouldn’t
give a damn, and find speech.
When I tell you that all the years we were
undergraduates I was madly in love with you
you say you
knew. I say I knew you
knew. You say
There was no place in nature we could meet.
You say this as if you need me to
admit something. No place
in nature, given our natures. Or is this
warning? I say what is happening now is
happening only because one of us is
dead. You laugh and say, Or both of us!
will be weirdly jolly.
That light I now envy
exists only on this page.