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Best Famous Charles Simic Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Charles Simic poems. This is a select list of the best famous Charles Simic poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Charles Simic poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Charles Simic poems.

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Written by Charles Simic |

The School Of Metaphysics

 Executioner happy to explain
How his wristwatch works
As he shadows me on the street.
I call him that because he is grim and officious And wears black.
The clock on the church tower Had stopped at five to eleven.
The morning newspapers had no date.
The gray building on the corner Could've been a state pen, And then he showed up with his watch, Whose Gothic numerals And the absence of hands He wanted me to understand Right then and there.

Written by Charles Simic |

The Wooden Toy


The brightly-painted horse
Had a boy's face,
And four small wheels
Under his feet,

Plus a long string
To pull him by this way and that
Across the floor,
Should you care to.
A string in-waiting That slipped away In many wiles From each and every try.
2 Knock and they'll answer, Mother told me.
So I climbed four flights of stairs And went in unannounced.
And found a small wooden toy For the taking In the ensuing emptiness And the fading daylight That still gives me a shudder As if I held the key to mysteries in my hand.
3 Where's the Lost and Found Department, And the quiet entry, The undeveloped film Of the few clear moments Of our blurred lives? Where's the drop of blood And the teeny nail That pricked my finger As I bent down to touch the toy And caught its eye? 4 Evening light, Make me a Sunday Go-to meeting shadow For my toy.
My dearest memories are Steep stair-wells In dusty buildings On dead-end streets, Where I talk to the walls And closed doors As if they understood me.
5 The wooden toy sitting pretty.
No, quieter than that.
Like the sound of eyebrows Raised by a villain In a silent movie.
Psst, someone said behind my back.
------------------------------------ Poetry Volume CLXXI, Number 1 Eighty-Fifth Anniversary Special Double Issue October-November 1997

Written by Charles Simic |


 Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile And spit out the teeth.

More great poems below...

Written by Charles Simic |

Inner Man

 It isn't the body
That's a stranger.
It's someone else.
We poke the same Ugly mug At the world.
When I scratch He scratches too.
There are women Who claim to have held him.
A dog Follows me about.
It might be his.
If I'm quiet, he's quieter.
So I forget him.
Yet, as I bend down To tie my shoelaces, He's standing up.
We caste a single shadow.
Whose shadow? I'd like to say: "He was un the beginning And he'll be in the end," But one can't be sure.
At night As I sit Shuffling the cards of our silence, I say to him: "Though you utter Every one of my words, You are a stranger.
It's time you spoke.

Written by Charles Simic |

The Initiate

John of the Cross wore dark glasses As he passed me on the street.
Theresa of Avila, beautiful and grave, Turned her back on me.
"Soulmate," they hissed.
"It's high time.
" I was a blind child, a wind-up toy .
I was one of death's juggling red balls On a certain street corner Where they peddle things out of suitcases.
The city like a huge cinema With lights dimmed.
The performance already started.
So many blurred faces in a complicated plot.
The great secret which kept eluding me: knowing who I am .
The Redeemer and the Virgin, Their eyes wide open in the empty church Where the killer came to hide himself .
The new snow on the sidewalk bore footprints That could have been made by bare feet.
Some unknown penitent guiding me.
In truth, I didn't know where I was going.
My feet were frozen, My stomach growled.
Four young hoods blocking my way.
Three deadpan, one smiling crazily.
I let them have my black raincoat.
Thinking constantly of the Divine Love and the Absolute had disfigured me.
People mistook me for someone else.
I heard voices after me calling out unknown names.
"I'm searching for someone to sell my soul to," The drunk who followed me whispered, While appraising me from head to foot.
At the address I had been given.
The building had large X's over its windows.
I knocked but no one came to open.
By and by a black girl joined me on the steps.
She banged at the door till her fist hurt.
Her name was Alma, a propitious sign.
She knew someone who solved life's riddles In a voice of an ancient Sumerian queen.
We had a long talk about that While shivering and stamping our wet feet.
It was necessary to stay calm, I explained, Even with the earth trembling, And to continue to watch oneself As if one were a complete stranger.
Once in Chicago, for instance, I caught sight of a man in a shaving mirror Who had my naked shoulders and face, But whose eyes terrified me! Two hard staring, all-knowing eyes! After we parted, the night, the cold, and the endless walking Brought on a kind of ecstasy.
I went as if pursued, trying to warm myself.
There was the East River; there was the Hudson.
Their waters shone like oil in sanctuary lamps.
Something supreme was occurring For which there will never be any words.
The sky was full of racing clouds and tall buildings, Whirling and whirling silently.
In that whole city you could hear a pin drop.
Believe me.
I thought I heard a pin drop and I went looking for it.

Written by Charles Simic |

The White Room

 The obvious is difficult
To prove.
Many prefer The hidden.
I did, too.
I listened to the trees.
They had a secret Which they were about to Make known to me-- And then didn't.
Summer came.
Each tree On my street had its own Scheherazade.
My nights Were a part of their wild Storytelling.
We were Entering dark houses, Always more dark houses, Hushed and abandoned.
There was someone with eyes closed On the upper floors.
The fear of it, and the wonder, Kept me sleepless.
The truth is bald and cold, Said the woman Who always wore white.
She didn't leave her room.
The sun pointed to one or two Things that had survived The long night intact.
The simplest things, Difficult in their obviousness.
They made no noise.
It was the kind of day People described as "perfect.
" Gods disguising themselves As black hairpins, a hand-mirror, A comb with a tooth missing? No! That wasn't it.
Just things as they are, Unblinking, lying mute In that bright light-- And the trees waiting for the night.

Written by Charles Simic |

Hotel Insomnia

 I liked my little hole,
Its window facing a brick wall.
Next door there was a piano.
A few evenings a month a crippled old man came to play "My Blue Heaven.
" Mostly, though, it was quiet.
Each room with its spider in heavy overcoat Catching his fly with a web Of cigarette smoke and revery.
So dark, I could not see my face in the shaving mirror.
At 5 A.
the sound of bare feet upstairs.
The "Gypsy" fortuneteller, Whose storefront is on the corner, Going to pee after a night of love.
Once, too, the sound of a child sobbing.
So near it was, I thought For a moment, I was sobbing myself.

Written by Charles Simic |

Poem Without A Title

 I say to the lead
Why did you let yourself
Be cast into a bullet?
Have you forgotten the alchemists?
Have you given up hope
In turning into gold?

Nobody answers.
With names Such as these The sleep is deep and long.

Written by Charles Simic |

Clouds Gathering

 It seemed the kind of life we wanted.
Wild strawberries and cream in the morning.
Sunlight in every room.
The two of us walking by the sea naked.
Some evenings, however, we found ourselves Unsure of what comes next.
Like tragic actors in a theater on fire, With birds circling over our heads, The dark pines strangely still, Each rock we stepped on bloodied by the sunset.
We were back on our terrace sipping wine.
Why always this hint of an unhappy ending? Clouds of almost human appearance Gathering on the horizon, but the rest lovely With the air so mild and the sea untroubled.
The night suddenly upon us, a starless night.
You lighting a candle, carrying it naked Into our bedroom and blowing it out quickly.
The dark pines and grasses strangely still.

Written by Charles Simic |

Mummys Curse

 Befriending an eccentric young woman
The sole resident of a secluded Victorian mansion.
She takes long walks in the evening rain, And so do I, with my hair full of dead leaves.
In her former life, she was an opera singer.
She remembers the rich Neapolitan pastries, Points to a bit of fresh whipped cream Still left in the corner of her lower lip, Tells me she dragged a wooden cross once Through a leper town somewhere in India.
I was born in Copenhagen, I confide in turn.
My father was a successful mortician.
My mother never lifted her nose out of a book.
Arthur Schopenhauer ruined our happy home.
Since then, a day doesn't go by without me Sticking a loaded revolved inside my mouth.
She had walked ahead of me and had turned Like a lion tamer, towering with a whip in hand.
Luckily, in that moment, the mummy sped by On a bicycle carrying someone's pizza order And cursing the mist and the potholes.

Written by Charles Simic |

To The One Upstairs

 Boss of all bosses of the universe.
know-it-all, wheeler-dealer, wire-puller, And whatever else you're good at.
Go ahead, shuffle your zeros tonight.
Dip in ink the comets' tails.
Staple the night with starlight.
You'd be better off reading coffee dregs, Thumbing the pages of the Farmer's Almanac.
But no! You love to put on airs, And cultivate your famous serenity While you sit behind your big desk With zilch in your in-tray, zilch In your out-tray, And all of eternity spread around you.
Doesn't it give you the creeps To hear them begging you on their knees, Sputtering endearments, As if you were an inflatable, life-size doll? Tell them to button up and go to bed.
Stop pretending you're too busy to take notice.
Your hands are empty and so are your eyes.
There's nothing to put your signature to, Even if you knew your own name, Or believed the ones I keep inventing, As I scribble this note to you in the dark.

Written by Charles Simic |

The Partial Explanation

 Seems like a long time
Since the waiter took my order.
Grimy little luncheonette, The snow falling outside.
Seems like it has grown darker Since I last heard the kitchen door Behind my back Since I last noticed Anyone pass on the street.
A glass of ice-water Keeps me company At this table I chose myself Upon entering.
And a longing, Incredible longing To eavesdrop On the conversation Of cooks.

Written by Charles Simic |

Country Fair

 for Hayden Carruth

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.

Written by Charles Simic |

Against Winter

 The truth is dark under your eyelids.
What are you going to do about it? The birds are silent; there's no one to ask.
All day long you'll squint at the gray sky.
When the wind blows you'll shiver like straw.
A meek little lamb you grew your wool Till they came after you with huge shears.
Flies hovered over open mouth, Then they, too, flew off like the leaves, The bare branches reached after them in vain.
Winter coming.
Like the last heroic soldier Of a defeated army, you'll stay at your post, Head bared to the first snow flake.
Till a neighbor comes to yell at you, You're crazier than the weather, Charlie.

Written by Charles Simic |

The Supreme Moment

 As an ant is powerless 
Against a raised boot, 
And only has an instant 
To have a bright idea or two.
The black boot so polished, He can see himself Reflected in it, distorted, Perhaps made larger Into a huge monster ant Shaking his arms and legs Threateningly? The boot may be hesitating, Demurring, having misgivings, Gathering cobwebs, Dew? Yes, and apparently no.