Poetry: Charles Simic

Talk Radio

“I was lucky to have a Bible with me.
When the space aliens abducted me…”

America, I shouted at the radio,
Even at 2 a.m. you are a loony bin!

No, I take it back!
You are a stone angel in the cemetery

Listening to the geese in the sky
Your eyes blinded by snow.

—Charles Simic

Poetry: Charles Simic

Few poets have been as influential—or as inimitable—as Charles Simic.
The New York Times Book Review


Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic is never pretentious or boring. Even when you don’t know where a poem’s going, the imagery carries you along and you enter a different world, or see this world in a different light.

This is a prose poem from The World Doesn’t End. I love its surreal atmosphere.

Scaliger turns deadly pale at the sight of watercress. Tycho Brahe, the famous astronomer, passes out at the sight of a caged fox. Maria de Medici feels instantly giddy on seeing a rose, even in a painting. My ancestors, meanwhile, are eating cabbage. They keep stirring the pot looking for a pigfoot which isn’t there. The sky is blue. The nightingale sings in a Renaissance sonnet, and immediately someone goes to bed with a toothache.