Metaphysical Dog, Frank Bidart, 2013

A nominee for this year’s National Book Award, this volume deals with Bidart’s (a professor at Wellesley and frequent habitué of Harvard Square) growing up gay and in the closet, the loss of friends to AIDS, and unreturned love of parents and young lovers. Death is everywhere:  “They drop into holes in the earth, everything/You loved, loved and/hated, as you will drop—-/and the moment when all was possible/Gone”.  Not cheery, but strong.