Poet of the Week | Charles Simic

By Administrator RSS Fri, May 18, 2007

Charles Simic was born in Yugoslavia in 1938 and emigrated with his family to the United States in 1958. He published his first poems in 1959, at the age of 21. In 1961 he was drafted into the United States Army, and in 1966 he completed his bachelor's degree at New York University, having worked nights to cover the cost of his tuition.


Simic’s first full-length collection of poems, What the Grass Says, was published in 1967. Since then he has published more than sixty books in the U.S. and abroad, among them My Noiseless Entourage (Harcourt, 2005); Selected Poems: 1963-2003 (2004); The Voice at 3:00 AM: Selected Late and New Poems (2003); Night Picnic (2001); The Book of Gods and Devils (2000); Jackstraws (1999), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Walking the Black Cat (1996), a finalist for the National Book Award; A Wedding in Hell (1994); Hotel Insomnia (1992); The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems (1990), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Selected Poems: 1963-1983 (1990); and Unending Blues (1986).


Simic has also published many translations of French, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, and Slovenian poetry.

Country Fair


If you didn't see the six-legged dog,
It doesn't matter.
We did, and he mostly lay in the corner.
As for the extra legs,

One got used to them quickly
And thought of other things.
Like, what a cold, dark night
To be out at the fair.

Then the keeper threw a stick
And the dog went after it
On four legs, the other two flapping behind,
Which made one girl shriek with laughter.

She was drunk and so was the man
Who kept kissing her neck.
The dog got the stick and looked back at us.
And that was the whole show.

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