Charles Simic Dies: Duan Simi, born in Serbia and named Charles Simic, died on January 9, 2023. He was an American poet and co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He was born on May 9, 1938.
He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 for his book The World Doesn’t End. His books Selected Poems, 1963–1983, and Unending Blues were both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 and 1987. In 2007, the Library of Congress named him the 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
Acclaimed Wordplay Poet Charles Simic Dies At 84!
Charles Simic died at the age of 84. He was a poet who won the Pulitzer Prize and wowed critics and readers with his unique style of lyricism and economy, tragic insight, and disruptive humor. Dan Halpern, the executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf, said Monday that Simic had died.
He was the country’s poet laureate from 2007 to 2008. He didn’t give any more information right away. Many people thought Simic was one of the best and most unique poets of his time, even though he didn’t start writing in English until he was well into his 20s.
He wrote dozens of books. Growing up in war-torn Yugoslavia gave him a dark but funny view of the world, which led him to say, “The world is old. It has always been old.” His poems were usually short and to the point, with sudden and sometimes shocking changes in mood and imagery, as if he was trying to show how cruel and random life could be.
In “Two Dogs,” Simic writes about how a dog in “some Southern town” and another in the New Hampshire woods reminded him of a “little white dog” that got “tangled” in the feet of marching German soldiers.
“Reading History” is a sketch of the “vast, dark, and impenetrable” skies for those who were “led to their deaths.” In “Help Wanted,” life is a cosmic joke, and the narrator is a willing dupe:
- They asked for a knife
- I come running
- They need a lamb
- I introduce myself as the lamb.
But Simic also liked to play with words (“The insomniac’s brain is a choo-choo train”) and make fun of people (“America, I yelled at the radio, “Even at 2 a.m., you’re a loony bin! “), which he did a lot.
In “The Friends of Heraclitus,” he asked, “What was that piece of Heraclitus you were trying to remember as you stepped on the butcher’s cat?” He was writing about the relationship between great ideas and small mistakes. In “Transport,” sexual activity is almost a literal feast for the senses:
- In the frying pan
- On the stove
- I found my love
- And me naked
- Chopped onions
- Fell on our heads
- And made us cry
- It’s like a parade,
- I told her confetti
- When some guy
- Reaches the moon
“The World Doesn’t End,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, “Walking the Black Cat,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1996, “Unending Blues,” and more recent books like “The Lunatic” and “Scribbled in the Dark” are among his best-known works.
In 2005, he won the Griffin Poetry Prize. The judges called him “a magician, a conjuror” and said he had “a disarming, deadpan precision that should never be confused with simplicity.” He spoke French, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, and Slovenian fluently and translated the works of other poets from French, Serbian, Croatian, and Slovenian.
His book “No Land in Sight,” published in 2022, gave a dark view of modern life. For example, the poem “Come Spring” warns: “Don’t let that bird in the tree fool you with its pretty song. The wicked are back from hell.”
Simic married fashion designer Helene Dubin in 1964 and had two children together. In 1971, he became an American citizen. Two years later, he joined the University of New Hampshire’s faculty, where he stayed for many years.
Dusan Simic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1938, the year before World War II started. He later said that his childhood was “a small, nonspeaking part in a bloody epic.” His father ran to Italy in 1942 and spent years away from the family.
Simic’s life at home was so hard that he saw the war as a way to escape. In 2005, he told the Paris Review that the war ended the day before his birthday, May 9, 1945. “I was outside having fun. I went to the apartment to get a drink of water, where my mom and our neighbors were listening to the radio.
When they said, “The war is over,” I must have looked at them strangely and said, “Now there won’t be any more fun!” During wartime, parents are too busy with their own lives to keep an eye on their children.
Simic would say that Stalin and Hitler were his “travel agents.” Soviet-backed oppression replaced Nazi rule, and Simic left with his mother and brother in the mid-1950s, first to France and then to the US. His family moved to Chicago, where Ernest Hemingway went to high school.
He became interested in poetry, both for the art and the girls. Because his parents couldn’t pay for college, he worked for ten years as everything from a payroll clerk to a house painter while taking classes at night at the University of Chicago and then New York University.
In 1966, he earned a Russian studies degree from New York University. “What the Grass Says” was his first book, and it came out in 1967. He then wrote “Somewhere Among Us a Stone Is Taking Notes” and “Dismantling the Silence.”
Soon, he was writing about one book a year on average. In a 1978 review in the New York Times, it was said that he had the ability to show “a complex of perceptions and feelings” in just a few lines.
Simic told Granta in 2013 that of everything people have said about poetry, the saying “less is more” has made the most significant and lasting impression on him. “In my life, I’ve written a lot of short poems, but “written” isn’t the right word for how they came to be.
Since you can’t just sit down and write an eight-line poem that’s big for its size, these poems are made up of words and images that have been floating around in my head for a long time. If you find this interesting, please forward it to your friends. Visit Lighthousejournal.org for the most up-to-date and recent celebrity news.
For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.