Friday, November 7, 2014

Poem for the Weekend: Charles Simic


I've been reading about the second World War this week, which is probably why this poem struck me. It is most certainly influenced by Charles Simic's childhood in war-torn Yugoslavia; his family emigrated to America when he was sixteen. He was the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2007-2008. Here is a short piece about him, which I like because it includes some of his advice on writing poetry.

Empire of Dreams

by Charles Simic

On the first page of my dreambook
It’s always evening
In an occupied country.   
Hour before the curfew.   
A small provincial city.   
The houses all dark.
The storefronts gutted.

I am on a street corner   
Where I shouldn’t be.   
Alone and coatless
I have gone out to look
For a black dog who answers to my whistle.   
I have a kind of Halloween mask
Which I am afraid to put on.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your discovery of poets.
    I like this line in the piece about Charles Simic ... a poem is a time machine ...


"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka