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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Those Tightly Wound Words

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.
For Saturday's Poem, here is Simic's,

                                                        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.

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