Friday, March 11, 2011

Readings: Still More Simic

X
I continue to be obsessed with both the poetry and the prose of Charles Simic. In his excellent book, The World Doesn't End, I found the following two passages, each of which seems to speak especially to me, and my present condition:


Once I knew, then I forgot. It was as if I had fallen asleep in a field only to discover at waking that a grove of trees had grown up around me.
"Doubt nothing, believe everything," was my friend's idea of metaphysics, although his brother ran away with his wife. He still bought her a rose every day, sat in the empty house for the next twenty years talking to her about the weather.
I was already dozing off in the shade, dreaming that the rustling trees were my many selves explaining themselves all at the same time so that I could not make out a single word. My life was a beautiful mystery on the verge of understanding, always on the verge! Think of it!
My friend's empty house with every one of its windows lit. The dark trees multiplying all around it.

_________________


The time of the minor poets is coming. Good-bye Whitman, Dickinson, Frost. Welcome you whose fame will never reach beyond your closest family, and perhaps one or two good friends gathered after dinner over a jug of fierce red wine...while the children are falling asleep and complaining about the noise you're making as you rummage through the closets for your old poems, afraid your wife might've thrown them out with last spring's cleaning.
It's snowing, says someone who has peeked into the dark night, and then he, too, turns towards you as you prepare yourself to read, in a manner somewhat theatrical and with a face turning red, the long rambling love poem whose final stanza (unknown to you) is hopelessly missing.
X

No comments: