The Lunatic

The Lunatic

by Charles Simic
     
 

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Winner of the pulitzer prize

Former poet laureate of the united states

This latest volume of poetry from Charles Simic, one of America’s most celebrated poets, demonstrates his signature mix of wry melancholy and sardonic wit—a dazzling collection as original, meditative, and humorous as the poet himself. 

For more than fifty years, Simic has

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Overview

Winner of the pulitzer prize

Former poet laureate of the united states

This latest volume of poetry from Charles Simic, one of America’s most celebrated poets, demonstrates his signature mix of wry melancholy and sardonic wit—a dazzling collection as original, meditative, and humorous as the poet himself. 

For more than fifty years, Simic has delighted readers with his innovative form, quiet humor, and his rare ability to limn our interior life and concisely capture the depth of human emotion. These stunning, succinct poems validate and reinforce Simic’s importance and relevance in modern poetry.

“ ‘When our souls are happy,’ Charles Simic has written, ‘they talk about food.’ When my soul is happy, often enough, I want to talk about Mr. Simic.”—Dwight Garner, New York Times Book Review

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 02/16/2015
The prolific Simic (New and Selected Poems: 1962–2012), former U.S. Poet Laureate and 1990 Pulitzer Prize–winner, graces readers with 70 grimly playful poems that confirm his position among the literary elite. The collection primarily revolves around nostalgia, aging, and unappreciated everyday wonders. Unvarnished yet profound, these poems show a boundless sensitivity underneath their impish presentation: “a ray of sunlight/ In the silence of the afternoon,/ ... found a long lost button/ Under some chair in the corner,// A teeny black one that belonged/ On the back of her black dress.” He addresses the past in his poems with judicious sentimentality and ambivalence, cautioning readers against becoming prisoners of memory: “Everything outside this moment is a lie.” While some poems dwell on the loneliness of old age (“That one remaining, barely moving leaf/ The wind couldn’t get to fall/ All winter long from a bare tree—/ That’s me!”), Simic battles this loneliness in the company of “Imagination, devil’s old helper,” who helps him breathe life into the inanimate—and greater significance into the animate—as he contemplates the ruminations of cows, admires the menace of fleas, and comments on the foreboding quality of black cats. Simic’s new collection is an outlandish and masterly mixture of morbidity and heartfelt yearning.
the Oprah Magazine O
“Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Simic brings a nuanced, cosmopolitan perspective to his essays, which explore art, intellect, his childhood memories, and the immigrant experience in America.”
Washington Post
“Charles Simic’s The Lunatic is a series of short, vivid poems. Each magnifies a moment or scene to highlight its complexity, humor or strangeness. . . . Every page has its own vibrant life, sometimes troubling or poignant.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Driven by his signature melancholy and sardonic humor...Spiked with clues to larger mysteries, Simic’s unnerving puzzle poems are works of insomniac witnessing and tempered love for our precious, haunted, rapturous, and dangerous world...”
O: the Oprah Magazine
“Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Simic brings a nuanced, cosmopolitan perspective to his essays, which explore art, intellect, his childhood memories, and the immigrant experience in America.”
New York Review of Books
The Lunatic, his newest poetry collection, is his thirty-sixth. Simultaneously, Ecco, his publisher, has brought out The Life of Images: Selected Prose ,... the cream of his six previous prose collections... one of our finest poets,... a singularly engaging, eminently sane American essayist.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062364746
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/07/2015
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
347,234
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Charles Simic, poet, essayist, and translator, was born in Yugoslavia in 1938 and immigrated to the United States in 1954. Since 1967, he has published twenty books of his own poetry, in addition to a memoir; the essay collection The Life of Images; and numerous books of translations for which he has received many literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin Prize, the MacArthur Fellowship, and the Wallace Stevens Award. Simic is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and in 2007 was chosen as poet laureate of the United States. He is emeritus professor at the University of New Hampshire, where he has taught since 1973, and is distinguished visiting writer at New York University.

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