Curse Criticism

Frank Bidart
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Bidart’s poetry has been well received by critics, scholars, and readers in general, since the publication of his first collection in the early 1970s. His reputation is based primarily on his work in dramatic monologue—a type of poem popular during the Victorian period in which a one speaker delivers an oftentimes lengthy speech explaining his or her feelings, actions, or motives. Bidart’s choice of rather unusual characters (murderers, rapists, an anorexic woman, among others) may be seen as an attention-getter, but his ability to develop the monologue in realistic, compelling, yet poetic style earned him high praise.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Bidart turned more toward writing shorter poems, while still retaining the passionate voice and provocative language of his lengthy monologues. Many poems in Star Dust reflect the new style, and this collection received very positive reviews...

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