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Saturday, November 15, 2014

The orphan of silence

Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.  That description comes from Charles Simic who, despite his disclaimer, won a Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his 1990 work The World Doesn’t End.  Simic writes with a style called literary minimalism, creating terse, imagistic poems. Critics have referred to Simic poems as "tightly constructed Chinese puzzle boxes."

An immigrant from Yugoslavia, Simic didn’t speak English until he was 15.  Once he learned the language, though, he became one of our most prolific writers, producing some 60 books.  He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in 2007 and named for the Frost Medal for lifetime achievement in 2011.

Charles Simic

Simic said he loves what words can do, and once stated: "Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat, and the poet is merely the bemused spectator." 

An example of his poetic style:

The Wooden Toy

The wooden toy sitting pretty.

 No … quieter than that.

 Like the sound of eyebrows

Raised by a villain 

 In a silent movie.

Psst, someone said behind my back.

You can learn more about this amazing writer at: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/charles-simic

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