Here is the text of “Visions at 74,” the final poem in poet Frank Bidart’s Pulitzer prizewinning book, “Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016.”
Visions at 74
The planet turns there without you, beautiful.
Exiled by death you cannot
touch it. Weird joy to watch postulates
lived out and discarded, something crowded
inside us always craving to become something
glistening outside us, the relentless planet
showing itself the logic of what is
buried inside it. To love existence
is to love what is indifferent to you
you think, as you watch it turn there, beautiful.
World that can know itself only by
world, soon it must colonize and infect the stars.
You are an hypothesis made of flesh.
What you will teach the stars is constant
rage at the constant prospect of not-being.
Sometimes when I wake it’s because I hear
a knock. Knock,
knocks, quite clear.
I wake and listen. It’s nothing.Copyright © 2015 by Frank Bidart. Used by permission of the author.