Friday, May 18, 2007

Poetry Posts Back by Popular Demand

Now Appearing on the This Blog: Poet of the Month Charlie Simic
We'd like to thank all of you who took the time to offer your encouraging comments about April's poetry posts. Though our formal celebration of National Poetry Month (April) has passed, we'll offer Poet of the Month posts for all you folks who enjoyed the celebration and would like to party on...

Charles Simic (1938-), born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, writes contemporary free verse in a laid-back surrealistic MFA style characteristic of the academy (currently dominant in the U.S.). He has won numerous national awards for his poems and translations from Croatian, French, Macedonian, Serbian and Slovenian. The poem below shows how acute an observer he is of contemporary U.S. culture and its fractured disconnects:

Hotel Starry Sky

Millions of empty rooms with TV sets turned on.
I wasn’t there yet I saw everything.
Titanic on the screen like a
birthday cake sinking.
Poseidon, the night clerk, blew out the candles.

How much should we tip the blind bellhop?
At three in the morning the gum machine
in the empty lobby
With its freshly cracked mirror
Is the new Madonna with her infant child.

Further Reading: Simic, Charles, The Voice at 3:00 a.m.: Selected Late and New Poems, 2003; Simic, Charles, Jackstraws: Poems, 1998; Ratiner, Steven (Editor and Compiler), Giving Their Word: Conversations with Contemporary Poets — all in our local library.

Coming in June: Anne Bradstreet

Content developed by local resident and poet Lee Jamieson