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That little something : poems
Simic, Charles
Adult Nonfiction PS3569.I4725 T47 2008

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In his 18th collection, Poet Laureate Simic's neat stanzas continue to deliver odd moments and unexplained memories, by turns surreal, horrifying, funny, sad, and spoken with this Pulitzer Prize winner's trademark friendly bemusement. The startling solemnity of a "Metaphysics Anonymous" meeting for addicts of "truth beyond appearances" in one poem meets, in another, a list of topics for a "late-night chat," including `How to guess time of night by listening to one's own heartbeat." The second of the book's four sections takes on a decidedly political tone, as in "Dance of the Macabre Mice," in which "the president smiles to himself; he loves war." Similarly, "Those Who Clean After" imagines what's "being done in our name" while the speaker listens to "the sounds of summer night." The final section groups short poems that Simic (My Noiseless Entourage) calls "Eternities"--each offers a preserved moment's thought or image: "Sewing room, linty daylight." While fans will find no stylistic surprises here, there is still the agreeable pathos in Simic's work, as in "To the Reader," which ends, "Bang your head / On your side of the wall / And keep me company." (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Among living, secular poets, Pulitzer Prize winner Simic (The World Doesn't End) has fashioned a career addressing the unfashionable subject of evil. He's peculiarly attuned to its presence, whether it haunts the human psyche, or, as in his 18th collection, it hides in neglected, night-shrouded crannies of the known world: an empty museum, a storefront mission, a morgue, spaces in which his personae project their undefinable fears and desires. A soul mate of Kafka and an anthropologist of the unknowable, Simic writes poems that read like field notes on "the unreality of us being here," observing the world as if glimpsed from the corners of one's eyes, fleeting, dim, resistant to objective representation. And yet from this nearly paranormal perspective, he offers occasional images of terrifying clarity ("The smoke shrouded city after a bombing raid,/ The corpses like cigarette butts/ In a dinner plate overflowing with ashes") and makes uncomfortably true pronouncements ("memory, the unhappy man's home"). Readers familiar with Simic's poetic output since the 1960s will find few stylistic surprises here, but the poet's vigorous "life long rebellion/ against that monster Eternity" hasn't abated. Recommended for larger collections.-Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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