Music Like Dirt
by Frank Bidart
publication date: 2002/04/01
trim: 5.5 x 7.5
price (paper): $8.95
ISBN 13 (paper): 978-1-889330-78-5
Music Like Dirt is the inaugural edition in Sarabande's Quarternote Chapbook Series, which features a select group of poets by invitation only.
Frank Bidart writes of Music Like Dirt, "I wanted to make a sequence in which the human need to make is seen as not only central but inescapable. I wanted not a tract, but a tapestry in which making is seen in the context of the other processes-sexuality, mortality-inseparable from it."
In 2001, Bidart received the Wallace Stevens Award, given by the Academy of American Poets. The judges were Eavan Boland, Louise Glück, Wendy Lesser, James Longenbach, and Carl Phillips. Jury chair Louise Glück writes:
Since the publication, in 1973, of Golden State, Frank Bidart has patiently amassed as profound and original a body of work as any now being written in this country. He has given form for our age to what is most urgent and most private in the human soul: the ordeals of solitude and mortality and hunger and, recently, that action through which being speaks: the drive to make or create. Bidart's poems sound like no one else's; they look like no one else's: to accommodate the requirement of his art, that the voice be precisely enacted in its every variation and hesitation, Bidart has made of his form a theatre: if the voice must be confined to the page, it will exploit that page, extend its possibilities.
His work has been, from the start, remarkable in its disdain for the soothing, the sentimental, the facile, the partial. He is, in the feeling of our jury, one of the great poets of our time.
The stone arm raising a stone hammer
dreams it can descend upon itself.
When the quest is indecipherable,-
...what is left is a career.
What once was apprehended in passion
survives as opinion.
To be both author of
this statue, and the statue itself.
Inaugural edition in Sarabande's Quarternote Chapbook Series
2003 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Poetry
2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry Nominee
Poets for Peace Book of the Month Selection for October 2002
"Bidart's poems sound like no one else's; they look like no one else's: to accommodate the requirement of his art, that the voice be precisely enacted in its every variation and hesitation, Bidart has made of his form a theatre: if the voice must be confined to the page, it will exploit that page, extend its possibilities."