‘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

Get Metro Headlines in your inbox:
The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

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.