Sep 22 2009

Poem of the Week, Sept. 21-27

Charles Simic

     ~Charles Simic, The Voice at 3 A.M.  (Harcourt, 2003)

     This is the second installment of Simic I believe.  God bless, I’m just a fan.  I hope to be like him when I grow up. 





Dec 1 2008

Poem of the Week, Dec. 1-6

The Old World


                   for Dan and Jeanne


I believe in the soul; so far

It hasn’t made much difference.

I remember an afternoon in Sicily.

The ruins of some temple.

Columns fallen in the grass like naked lovers.


The olives and goat cheese tasted delicious

And so did the wine

With which I toasted the coming night,

The darting swallows

The Saracen wind and moon.


It got darker. There was something

Long before there were words:

The evening meal of shepherds…

A fleeting whiteness among trees…

Eternity eavesdropping on time.


The goddess going to bathe in the sea.

She must not be followed.

These rocks, these cypress trees,

May be her old lovers.

Oh to be one of them, the wine whispered to me.


          ~Charles Simic (The Voice at 3 A.M., Harcourt 2003)



It’s amazing how Simic can balance the abstraction of the first statement, with such clear and engaging imagery.  “I believe in the soul; so far/ It hasn’t made much difference” seems like an interesting observation, and alone, it might work as an epigraph or opening to a philosophical essay of some sort.  But here it works and resonates as the perfect opening to this poem, buttressed by the Sicily that follows.  God I love this poem.