Listen to Frank Bidart read this poem.
would not reassure the world he felt Resolve that too soon crumbled when he found something intolerable for which the word must be love Love craved and despised and necessary my bereft grandmother bereft How those now dead used love to explain
How those now dead used the word love bewildered
and disgusted the boy who resolved he
love until he understood love
within his chest
because no other word was right
must be love
the Great American Songbook said explained our fate
father bereft mother their wild regret
would not reassure the world he felt
Resolve that too soon crumbled when he found
something intolerable for which the word
must be love
Love craved and despised and necessary
my bereft grandmother bereft
How those now dead used love to explain
Frank Bidart's most recent book of poems is Star Dust.
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