Thursday, August 02, 2007

Charles Simic is the New Poet Laureate

My favorite poet, Charles Simic, has been named the new U.S. Poet Laureate, succeeding Donald Hall.

The New York Times story is here. Includes links to some poems.

I try and see Mr. Simic whenever he comes through town. He is a great performer of his poems. One of the few poets who I can never tire of hearing read. He is next reading in NYC on August 21 as part of the Bryant Park Distinguished Poets Series.

I have lost count of the number of signed items I have from Mr. Simic but, between anthologies and his own books, the number exceeds 50. I'm going out on a limb to say that he is probably the most prolific of all poet laureates. I realize that I am unable to collect all of his work.

I have Charles Simic stories galore, from my stuttering introduction of myself the first time I met him ("You're my favorite living poet!") to him shooing me away at Joe's Pub, so he can sign books for some other people.

One of my Simic prizes is a signed copy of a 1959 Chicago Review, which he affirmed to me contained his first published poems, although he acknowledged in his self-effacing way, they weren't very good.

Check out also his Poetry in Motion poster here.

I'll leave you with one of his best-known, wonderful, short poems:


Green Buddhas

On the fruit stand.

We eat the smile

And spit out the teeth.

From Return to a Place Lit By a Glass of Milk, by Charles Simic.

1 comment:

Eric Valentine said...

Very nice reading and wonderful links to a new poet for me. They are sure to provide me with lots of great reading.

Thank you again for the links. :)