• About

    Martin Bidney, Professor Emeritus at Binghamton University (NY), writes poetry books that are dialogues.

     

    In "Shakespair" he converses in Shakespearean sonnets with the 154 that the bisexual Bard himself wrote in the 1590s about his boyfriend and girlfriend. '

     

    In "A Unifying Light" Martin converses with Qur'anic passages on the topic of Jews and Christians in the Qur'an and the Islamic virtues they embody.

     

    "East-West Poetry" shows Martin replying, in poems, to passages from both the Qur'an and Rumi.

     

    "Poems of Wine and Tavern Romance" offers 103 dialogues between Martin and Hafiz, the 14th century Persian pub poet he translates, a Muslim Sufi who was bisexual, like Shakespeare, and whom Germany's greatest poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, called his "twin" brother! (Martin translates Hafiz from the same version Goethe used.)

     

    In fact, Martin has also translated Goethe's own "West-East Divan" (divan means "collection") and wrote conversational reply poems to all of Goethe's 240 lyrics.

     

    Martin's dialogue book with the greatest Polish poet, Adam Mickiewicz, contains, on facing pages, the sonnets he wrote in response to the "Crimean Sonnets" he translated from Polish.

     

    In "Like a Fine Rug of Erivan" he translates 39 Pushkin poems from Russian and recites them on a CD.

     

    His wide-ranging fascination with revelatory writing stems from "Patterns of Epiphany," where Martin pioneered a method of analysis he has since applied to over 20 authors.

  • Latest news

    Stay up to date with Martin and his adventures!

    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 18 - INDIAN, PERSIAN, ARABIAN POEMS

    October 17, 2020

    Click the image on the right-hand side for a direct link to this episode on my YouTube channel. Enjoy!

    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 17 - SIX BEAT SONNET TREATS

    August 20, 2020

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 8

    A MUSIC LOVER'S ART

    August 11, 2020

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    Shakespair Book Trailer

    March 8, 2020

    Click the image on the right-hand side for a direct link to a trailer for my Shakespair book. Enjoy!

    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 16 - A MUSIC LOVER'S ART

    February 6, 2020

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    Freestyle Chat 2020 Episode 1: “RICH BEING”

    January 19, 2020

    Click the image on the right-hand side for a direct link to this freestyle chat with my good friend, Roger Brooks. Enjoy!

    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 15 - ANGELUS, GUIDE TO GOD WITHIN

    December 15, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 14 - INTERVIEWING SUFI POET RUMI

    November 27, 2019

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    The Reporter Spotlight: Teaching Through Podcast

    November 15, 2019

    I was just interviewed in The Reporter by Rabbi Rachel Esserman (Nov. 15-21, 2019, Volume XLVIII, Number 46. p. 1) Spotlight: Teaching Through Podcast. Click the image on the right to be redirected to the full article. Enjoy!

    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 13 - SUFI LYRICS IN THE EGYPTIAN DESERT

    November 7, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 12 - RUSSIAN LOVES

    October 17, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 11 - TAXI DRIVERS

    October 15, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 10 - GUMILEV, WORLD TRAVELER

    September 26, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 9 - JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN THE QUR’AN

    September 10, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 8 - ANCIENT WORDSONG FORMS

    August 28, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 7 - RÜCKERT THE MODERN SUFI

    August 18, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 6 - KING SOLOMON THE LOVER

    August 4, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 5 - BISEXUAL HAFIZ

    July 24, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 4 - GOETHE AND HAFIZ

    July 9, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 3 - RILKE: LOVE AND CONFLICT

    July 9, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 2 -QUR'AN AND POETRY

    July 9, 2019

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    The Be-Loving Imaginer Episode 1 - BISEXUAL SHAKESPEARE

    June 16, 2019

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 7

    BOOK OF THE DACTYL

    December 16, 2019

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 6

    A TREAT NOT KNOWN BEFORE

    July 26, 2019

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 5

    BOOK OF THE ANAPEST

    April 4, 2019

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 4

    BOOK OF THE FLOATING REFRAIN

    March 16, 2019

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 3

    100 VILLANELLES / 100 BLOGATELLES

    March 16, 2019

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 2

    GOD THE ALL-IMAGINER

    February 6, 2019

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    American Real LIVE Tribe Cycle 1

    BOOK OF THE AMPHIBRACH

    February 6, 2019

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    Martin Bidney On American Real

    March 3, 2019

    Click the image on the right-hand side for a direct link to my interview on the American Real podcast with my good friend, Roger Brooks. Enjoy!

  • REVIEWS

    Here's what readers are saying about Martin's work!

    Laurence S. Lockridge - Sufi Lyrics In The Egyptian Desert - 5/5 Stars

    In "Sufi Lyrics in the Egyptian Desert" Martin Bidney departs from the “dialogic” format of most of his earlier volumes of poetry, notably his "Shakespair: Sonnet Replies to the 154 Sonnets", in which he writes a sonnet of his own in response to each of Shakespeare’s, the poems printed side by side. He declines, as he says, to move to the back of the bus in deference to great predecessors but speaks to them in words of his own. Not a prideful competitor, he comes over as a fellow human being seeking truth through poetic language, one poem giving rise to another. Other poets he engages in this way have included Rumi, Goethe, Mickiewicz, Pushkin, and Rilke. .

    "Sufi Lyrics" is only implicitly in dialogue with FitzGerald’s "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam," whose stanzaic form Bidney slightly modifies. These are stand-alone lyrics, four quatrains each, that embody Bidney’s understanding of Sufism, as he seeks to uncover a communality of thought and feeling among the three Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—commonly thought to be at each other’s throats throughout their brutal histories. Bidney notes that his poems express a somewhat more cheerful view of life than found in "The Rubaiyat," whatever its celebratory and hedonistic moments, famously that damned jug of wine, loaf of bread, and thou singing in the wilderness.

    Readers of poetry might enjoy a break from the free verse that dominates the current scene. Bidney approaches poetry as a craft where older conventions—from rhyme to meter to stanzas—are anchored in a felt human appetite for poetic form. Their antiquity is ample evidence in itself of their potential for reinvigoration by this contemporary master.

    Roger Brooks - Sufi Lyrics In The Egyptian Desert - 5/5 Stars

    I found this book to be incredibly insightful and educational. The author has an incredible knack for writing poetry and lends his style and rhythm to the great poets from which he writes his replies. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in poetry, Sufism or a general love of reading exceptional work.

    Sarah - Sufi Lyrics In The Egyptian Desert - 5/5 Stars

    So many riches in this book! For Rumi lovers, it is a wealth of poetic wisdom from the Sufi master. For Sufism scholars, an informed journey through Sufi thought in verse. And for poetry lovers, a celebration of beauty through multiple poetic and spiritual traditions!

    Phil Rest - A Unifying Light: Lyrical Responses To The Qur'an - 5/5 Stars

    This may be one of the most important books in those times we live in. It's focus is an the similarities as well as the stories shared by the three abrahamic religions in form of a dialogue with the Qur'an. Reading the Suras in an excellent translation, one can follow up with a lyrical choir of jewish, christian and muslim voices, singing together as one unified voice to praise peace and love for each other.


    The author is an exceptional poet himself. Skilled in as many lyrical forms you can think of, he opens up the mind by using graphic metaphors. It seems like he is not only talking to the Suras but with the reader as well.
    If you want to learn more about the similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam or if you want to view the Qur'an from a lyrical point of view, this book suits you right. But most importantly, if you want to understand the three great religions and find a way how one can live peacefully with each other, this book is a must-have.

    Katharina - A Unifying Light: Lyrical Responses To The Qur'an - 5/5 Stars

    This book offers surprising insights into Islam, as well as Judaism and Christianity, by a writer who has taken an unusual path. Most people aren't aware that the Qur'an is largely filled with stories about central Jewish and Christian scriptural figures. Prof. Bidney asks: What happens when these people enter the Qur'an? It turns out that the Islamic scripture offers enthralling narratives about figures from Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Pharao's wife, David, and Solomon to Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist. We see how their new stories are parables illustrating Qur'anic virtues, all expressions of Love. Example: the story of Joseph's miracle shirt which cured his father Jacob's blindness after the old man had cried his eyes out over the loss of his boy is itself worth the price of the book!

    Renata Bernal - A Unifying Light: Lyrical Responses To The Qur'an - 5/5 Stars

    I have belonged to an organization called "The Children of Abraham" for some time now and I am so happy that Martin Bidney has written this book, which not only talks about the 4 virtues espoused by the Qur'an and how the Jewish and Christian holy books mirror these sentiments, but also gifts us with his "lyrical responses" to the verses in the Qu'ran. Martin Bidney is a poet.

    Bill Paccone - A Unifying Light: Lyrical Responses To The Qur'an - 5/5 Stars

    If you'd like to stop, to pause, and to wait awhile to have your soul touched and your heart refurbished, I recommend Martin Bidney's A Unifying Light: lyrical responses to the Qur'an. Though most of the 140 responses are no longer than a page, I suggest you read them aloud to gain the full appeal of their measured cadences, rhythms, balance, and varying rhyme schemes. A few moments of giving yourself to these lyrical verses will allow you enrichment in myriad ways. The book is an unusual delight, a supreme pleasure, and unmitigated experience.

    E.K. Newton - A Unifying Light: Lyrical Responses To The Qur'an - 5/5 Stars

    For me, A Unifying Light is a highly educational and inspirational read. At a time when the politics of violence and incessant, deafeningly shrill discourse takes center stage as a substitute for earnest dialogue between and among Christians, Muslims and Jews, Dr. Bidney’s quiet, deeply felt, highly reflective poetic responses to Qur’anic passages in this book are refreshing and hopeful. A birthright Christian, I am neither a poet nor a scholar, but I have been fascinated by Dr. Bidney’s ability to identify and exalt the very powerful, and as the title suggests, profoundly spiritual message common to these three religious traditions with his tightly-woven, evocative responses.

    Camille - God The All Imaginer - 5/5 Stars

    What a great gift these sonnets are to any lover of life and art. The combination of beautiful calligraphy and delightful poetry left me inspired and happy. There is a heart beating here and it's encouraging the hopeful and open-minded to enter a world of love and unity.

    Harvey Stenger- Book of The Dactyl - 5/5 Stars

    Martin again amazes us with his prolific, insightful, deeply creative and humorous poetry. Keep it near your favorite chair and read a few each day. You will smile!

  • Contact

    Feel free to ask Martin anything.

    912 Taylor Drive
    Vestal, New York 13850
    607-772-0830