Friday, April 20, 2007

Poetry in Motion, Day 20 (Charles Simic)

It was a true surprise last Summer when I chanced upon this poster at the Transit Museum store in Grand Central Station.

I don't remember ever seeing this on the subways in New York, so it must have been up pre-June 1997. I am certain of this, as I am, and have been since the mid-'80s, a huge Charles Simic fan. I would estimate that Mr. Simic has signed at least 50 different items for me, which includes anthologies. This poster has yet to be so graced. But once it does, you can bet it will be framed and hung somewhere in my world.

from Watch Repair

A small wheel
Shivering like
A pinned butterfly.

Pointing in all directions:
The crossroads
One enters
In a nightmare.

Higher than anyone
Number 12 presides
Like a beekeeper
Over the swarming honeycomb
Of the open watch.

Charles Simic (b. 1938)

"Watch Repair" (excerpt) from Return to a Place Lit By a Glass of Milk by Charles Simic.

You can read the full poem here. It's only a few stanzas longer than what fit on the poster.

Previous BillyBlog Poetry in Motion posts:

from "My Grandmother's New York Apartment" by Elizabeth Alexander (Day 1)
from "A Bouquet" by Bei Dao (Day 2)
"Separation" by W.S. Merwin (Day 3)
"The Groundfall Pear" by Jane Hirshfield (Day 4)
"For Friendship" by Robert Creeley (Day 5)
from "Crazy Horse Speaks" by Sherman Alexie (Day 6)
"Hunger" by Billy Collins (Day 7)
from "Little Man Around the House" by Yusef Komunyakaa (Day 8)
"The Loon on Oak-Head Pond" by Mary Oliver (Day 9)
from "I Am Vertical" by Sylvia Plath (Day 10 - part 1)
"Two Haiku" by
Kobayashi Issa (Robert Hass, trans.) (Day 10 - part 2)
"you say 'i will come' " by Lady Otomo No Sakanoe (Kenneth Rexroth, trans.) (Day 11)
"You Called Me Corazón" by Sandra Cisneros (Day 12)
"Too Much Heat, Too Much Work" by Tu Fu (Carolyn Kizer, trans.) (Day 13)
"Sew" by Donald Hall (Day 14)
"Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden (Day 15)
"Luck" by Langston Hughes (Day 16)
"0˚" by Elizabeth Spires (Day 17 - part 1)
"I Finally Managed to Speak with Her" by Hal Sirowitz (Day 17 - part 2)
"Window" by Carl Sandburg (Day 18)
" 'Hope' is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson (Day 19)

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