Aug 29, 2007

Words do play magics


Charles Simic
Charles Simic was born on May 9, 1938, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where he had a traumatic childhood during World War II. In 1954 he emigrated from Yugoslavia with his mother and brother to join his father in the United States. They lived in and around Chicago until 1958.
His first poems were published in 1959, when he was twenty-one. In 1961 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and in 1966 he earned his Bachelor's degree from New York University while working at night to cover the costs of tuition.
His first full-length collection of poems, What the Grass Says, was published the following year. Since then he has published more than sixty books in the U.S. and abroad, twenty titles of his own poetry among them, including That Little Something (Harcourt, 2008), My Noiseless Entourage (2005); Selected Poems: 1963-2003 (2004), for which he received the 2005 International Griffin Poetry Prize; The Voice at 3:00 AM: Selected Late and New Poems (2003); Night Picnic (2001); The Book of Gods and Devils (2000); and Jackstraws (1999), which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times.


Country Fair

If you didn't see the six-legged dog,
It doesn't matter.
We did, and he mostly lay in the corner.
As for the extra legs,
One got used to them quickly
And thought of other things.
Like, what a cold, dark night
To be out at the fair.
Then the keeper threw a stick
And the dog went after it
On four legs, the other two flapping behind,
Which made one girl shriek with laughter.
She was drunk and so was the man
Who kept kissing her neck.
The dog got the stick and looked back at us.
And that was the whole show.


From Hotel Insomnia, published by Harcourt Brace & Company, 1991. Copyright © 1991 by Charles Simic. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the author.

Eyes Fastened With Pins

How much death works,
No one knows what a long
Day he puts in. The little
Wife always alone
Ironing death's laundry.
The beautiful daughters
Setting death's supper table.
The neighbors playing
Pinochle in the backyard
Or just sitting on the steps
Drinking beer. Death,
Meanwhile, in a strange
Part of town looking for
Someone with a bad cough,
But the address somehow wrong,
Even death can't figure it out
Among all the locked doors...
And the rain beginning to fall.
Long windy night ahead.
Death with not even a newspaper
To cover his head, not even
A dime to call the one pining away,
Undressing slowly, sleepily,
And stretching naked
On death's side of the bed.

I read these poems and liked them immensely…so you also share the pleasure with me..
Uday Prakash

2 comments:

anil said...

dear udayji,it was a thrill for me to c u on ur blog.hope that u will keep providing us something new and mindblowing in world litt.poems are good but in my opinion u have to post them in hindi translation so that hindi readers also get benifited.anil kumar singh,faizabad.my email id anil-singh@indiatimes.com

Uday Prakash said...

Thanks Anil ji. In fact I am not regular on my blog. However if it is getting some viewings I'll try to put something more interesting. Of course in Hindi too.