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    ‘Visions at 74’ — Read a poem by Frank Bidart

    This 2013 photo released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux shows Frank Bidart, author of "Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016." On Monday, April 16, 2018, Bidart was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. (James Franco/Farrar, Straus and Giroux via AP)
    James Franco/Farrar, Straus and Giroux via AP
    Frank Bidart

    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

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    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,

    Knock. Two

    knocks, quite clear.

    I wake and listen. It’s nothing.

    Copyright © 2015 by Frank Bidart. Used by permission of the author.