My Noiseless Entourage: Poems

My Noiseless Entourage: Poems

by Charles Simic
     
 

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This new collection of poems from Charles Simic demonstrates once again his wit, moral acuity, and brilliant use of imagery. His settings are a farmhouse porch, a used-clothing store, empty station platforms; his subjects love, futility, and the sense of an individual life lived among a crowd of literal and imaginary presences.
Both sharp and sympathetic, the

Overview

This new collection of poems from Charles Simic demonstrates once again his wit, moral acuity, and brilliant use of imagery. His settings are a farmhouse porch, a used-clothing store, empty station platforms; his subjects love, futility, and the sense of an individual life lived among a crowd of literal and imaginary presences.
Both sharp and sympathetic, the poems of this collection confirm Simic's place as one of the most important and appealing poets of our time.

To Dreams

I'm still living at all the old addresses,
Wearing dark glasses even indoors,
On the hush-hush sharing my bed
With phantoms, visiting in the kitchen

After midnight to check the faucet.
I'm late for school, and when I get there
No one seems to recognize me.
I sit disowned, sequestered and withdrawn.

These small shops open only at night
Where I make my unobtrusive purchases,
These back-door movie houses in seedy neighborhoods
Still showing grainy films of my life,

The hero always full of extravagant hope
Losing it all in the end?-whatever it was-
Then walking out into the cold, disbelieving light
Waiting close-lipped at the exit.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Over the past three decades, Simic's compact, often spooky poems of displacement, violence and anxiety have won him national acclaim (and a Pulitzer); for some readers, Simic's frightened children, intrepid shopkeepers and bleak fairy-tale atmospheres mark his work as late-blooming surrealism, while others link his sensibility to the violence he escaped as a child in 1940s Serbia. Simic offers many sinister delights, if few big shockers, in this 14th volume of new work: of its four sections, the first two stick largely to the grittily familiar Simic settings: "All-night cafeterias,/ Dark barrooms/ And poolhalls," not to mention "an empty platform/ With no town in sight." Short, bleary lines alternate streamlined realism with dreamlike gloom: "A tongue by itself in a birdcage" begs for water, while a walker explores "A few homes lately foreclosed." The last (and best) parts of the book expand Simic's repertoire of images, moving from film noir scenes into bizarre parables: "that world out there," the poet shows, "Is a riddle even you can't solve." Helpless, baffled, resigned and nevertheless charming, Simic (Hotel Insomnia; etc.) makes up for his limited range by offering verse with almost no false notes; standout poems attack war or mull the absence of God ("the least he could do is put up a sign"), and the whole collection establishes Simic once again as a reliable master of his particular, melancholy, wry mode. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"These poems show a master craftsman at work."
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR CHARLES SIMIC
"Few contemporary poets have been as influential-or as inimitable- as Charles Simic."-THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Booklist
"Simic, original and engaging, keeps us on our toes, guessing, questioning and looking at the world in a new way."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547563817
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/04/2005
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
80
File size:
104 KB

Read an Excerpt

DESCRIPTION OF A LOST THING

It never had a name,
Nor do I remember how I found it.
I carried it in my pocket
Like a lost button
Except it wasn't a button.
Horror movies,
All-night cafeterias,
Dark barrooms
And poolhalls,
On rain-slicked streets.
It led a quiet, unremarkable existence
Like a shadow in a dream,
An angel on a pin,
And then it vanished.
The years passed with their row
Of nameless stations,
Till somebody told me this is it!
And fool that I was,
I got off on an empty platform
With no town in sight.

SHADING EXERCISE
This street could use a bit of shade
And the same goes for that small boy
Playing alone in the sun,
A shadow to dart after him like a black kitten.
His parents sit in a room with shades drawn.
The stairs to the cellar
Are hardly used any more
Except for an occasional prowler.
Like a troop of traveling actors dressed to play Hamlet,
The evening shadows come.
They spend their days hidden in the trees
Outside the old courthouse.
Now comes the hard part:
What to do with the stones in the graveyard?
The sun doesn't care for ambiguities,
But I do. I open my door and let them in.

Copyright © 2005 by Charles Simic

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Meet the Author

CHARLES SIMIC was born in Belgrade and emigrated to the United States in 1954. He is the author of many books of poetry and prose. Among other honors, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 and served as the Poet Laureate of the United States in 2007–2008.

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