Sunday, November 25, 2007

Duke Altum's Poem of the Week #59: Three by Simic

Welcome to the Theater of the Absurd on this gray Sunday after Thanksgiving!

Here are three very short poems from the man currently serving as Poet Laureate of the United States, Charles Simic. His recently published collection with what just might be my favorite title of the year, The Voice at 3:00 A.M., is on my current reading shelf and I am finding it to be wonderfully complex and inspiring.

As I hope these three will show, he is very gifted at creating strange but vivid images using just a few well-chosen words. I don't pretend to understand any of these, but something about the atmopshere and mood they bring to one's mind, considering how brief they are, is impressive to me. They remind of scenes from a Fellini film -- you don't pretend to know exactly what they mean, but they feel like dreams you can somehow relate to anyway. And like Fellini, Simic is celebrated as an artist of the surreal -- whatever that means!

I really appreciate the end of that last one, if only because it makes me laugh heartily and yet, for some reason which I don't fully grasp, feels like it carries some wisdom with it as well. Maybe one day I will understand its impact on me... but then, maybe not!?!


Evening Chess

The Black Queen raised high
In my father's angry hand.


It snows
and still the derelicts
carrying sandwich boards --

one proclaiming
the end of the world
the other
the rates of a local barbershop.

Folk Song

Sausage-makers of History,
the bloody kind,
You all hail from a village
Where the dog barking at the moon
Is the only poet.

1 comment:

Mutt Ploughman said...

These poems are fascinating!!! I love that last one. They are very odd but they somehow work. The work os fine poets can really amaze. Great selections again by Duke!!!