The Voice at 3 A.M.: Selected Late and New Poems
  • The Voice at 3 A.M.: Selected Late and New Poems
  • The Voice at 3 A.M.: Selected Late and New Poems

The Voice at 3 A.M.: Selected Late and New Poems

by Charles Simic
     
 

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Praise for Charles Simic:

"Charles Simic's writing comes dancing out on the balls of its feet, colloquially fit as a fiddle, a sparring partner for the world."—Seamus Heaney

"Few poets have been as influential—or as inimitable—as Charles Simic."

The New York Times Book Review

"It's hard to see how anyone could not like

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Overview

Praise for Charles Simic:

"Charles Simic's writing comes dancing out on the balls of its feet, colloquially fit as a fiddle, a sparring partner for the world."—Seamus Heaney

"Few poets have been as influential—or as inimitable—as Charles Simic."

The New York Times Book Review

"It's hard to see how anyone could not like Charles Simic . . . American poetry would be much more boring without that odd hybrid we know as the Simic Poem."—The Boston Globe

"Charles Simic has infused American poetry with the freshest and most original style and imagery since e.e. cummings."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A master of the surreal."—People

CHARLES SIMIC is widely recognized as one of the most important American poets of our time. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including a PEN International Award for translation, and in 1990 he received the Pulitzer Prize for The World Doesn't End. He lives in New Hampshire.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR CHARLES SIMIC

"Charles Simic's writing comes dancing out on the balls of its feet, colloquially fit as a fiddle, a sparring partner for the world."—Seamus Heaney

"Few poets have been as influential—or as inimitable—as Charles Simic."—The New York Times Book Review

The New York Times
This poet's repetitiveness is a complicated matter, because it's intimately related to the themes around which his poetry revolves. Simic can't quite believe in anything, and he can't quite not believe in anything; as a result, his irony and his romanticism can grind against each other in a tortured stasis.— David Orr
Publishers Weekly
With his 1989 collection The World Doesn't End a Pulitzer winner, and 1996's Walking the Black Cat an NBA finalist, Simic has achieved major recognition for his wryly acerbic meditations and send-ups; this selection from his last eight books (excluding the prose poems of The World Doesn't End), matched with 19 new poems, should pave the way for more. On re-reading work that is approaching its 20th year in print, readers will find that Simic's signature quatrains and other free verse stanzas retain their forceful mix of joy, wit and melancholy: "How do you like that?/ I said to no one./ How do you like that?/ I said it again today upon walking." The new poems, most no more than a page long, include the neo-Yeatsian foreboding of "Grayheaded School Children" ("Their dead fathers shuffle past them/ On their way to the kitchen"); a creepy, Raymond Carver-esque "Empty Barbershop" ("The invisible barber's greasy fingers/ Making your hair stand straight up"); and, near the end, "The Hearse": "Pulled by a teenage Jesus already carrying his cross/ Pulled by your first love/ Pulled by every dog you ever had/ Pulled by the fly whose legs you plucked." The table of contents reveals the book's chronological organization, and the books from which the poems are taken. But refreshingly, there are no section breaks within the text, allowing readers to follow the unbroken arc of this poet's skeptical, humane meditations without interruption. It's an opportunity that will be exploited even by fans who own multiple Simic collections. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Always the poetic master, the Simic we meet in these poems (originally published in books from 1986 to the present) is no longer one who would, to quote one of his very early poems, "Go inside a stone"-and presumably shut the rest of the world out. He is older, wiser, more sedate. As tensions have risen in the former Yugoslavia, where he was born, and the world at large, his work has taken on a political urgency while still clutching its surrealist core. Here we find "The City," with "at least one crucified at every corner." In short, terse, sardonic poems, we meet troubled men and women, be they ghosts, the homeless, the lonely, or those who leave behind broken dolls and toy soldiers. The poet boldly states, "I believe in the soul; so far/ it hasn't made much difference." Luckily for readers, these poems do make a difference, rising Chagall-like above the fears and desolation of which they speak. If there were ever a poet whose work was needed in these difficult times, it would be Simic. An important purchase for all libraries.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156030731
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/03/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
194
Sales rank:
877,459
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.45(d)

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