Charles Simic

Charles Simic’s Come Closer and Listen: New Poems will be published next year.

Two Poems

Charles Simic, 22 November 2018

The Name

After St Sebastian Had his chest Pierced by arrows He was nursed Back to health By a rich widow in Rome With the help Of a blind servant girl Whose soft steps I may have heard Entering and leaving My room at night And whose name I’d love to know And whisper in the dark.


  Saw a toad jump out of boiling water   Saw a chicken dance on a hot plate...

Three Poems

Charles Simic, 18 May 2017

The Election

They promised us free lunch And all we got Edna Is wind and rain And these broken umbrellas To wield angrily At cars and buses Eager to run us over As we struggle to cross the street.

The Saint

The woman I adore is a saint Who deserves to have People falling on their knees Before her in the street Asking for her blessing. Instead, here she is on the floor, Hitting a mouse...

Four Poems

Charles Simic, 9 May 2013

Let Us Be Careful

More could be said of a dead fly in the window of a small shed, and of an iron typewriter that hasn’t lifted a key in years both in delight and dark despair.


A troop of late night revellers, most likely shown the door at some after-hours club or a party in the neighbourhood, still whooping it up as they stagger down the street with a girl in a wedding dress...

Two Poems

Charles Simic, 2 June 2011

It’s a Hot Night

A swarm of half-naked, tattoo-covered bodies To squeeze through on the sidewalk With a wary glance at a dagger dripping with blood And a winged serpent paused to strike.

Young boys are smoking reefers and shooting baskets In the dark playground. Tipsy old men Mutter to themselves on park benches While red roses open at midnight and butterflies flit by.

Each one of them...

Diary: New England in the Recession

Charles Simic, 20 January 2011

Only someone badly lost would find himself driving through a village as unremarkable as this, I’m thinking. The lights are on in the post office, but the parking lot is empty: no one, I imagine, is in a hurry to pick up their mail when it consists, mostly, of bills. The two-storey elementary school is quiet: it’s as if they’re waiting to hear the answer to some question the...


Ian Sansom, 7 March 1996

In a power-rhyming slap-happy parody of Thirties doom-mongering published in 1938 William Empson famously had ‘Just a Smack at Auden’: What was said by Marx, boys, what did he...

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