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Sixty Poems Paperback – January 7, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (January 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156035642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156035644
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The range of Charles Simic's imagination is evident in his stunning and unusual imagery. He handles language with the skill of a master craftsman, yet his poems are easily accessible, often meditative and surprising. He has given us a rich body of highly organized poetry with shades of darkness and flashes of ironic humor." --James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress  

"[Simic] draws on the dark satire of Central Europe, the sensual rhapsody of Latin America, and the fraught juxtapositions of French Surrealism, to create a style like nothing else in American literature. Yet [his] verse remains recognizably American--not just in its grainy, hard-boiled textures, straight out of 1940s film noir, but in the very confidence of its eclecticism." --Adam Kirsch, New York Sun

About the Author

Charles Simic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1938, and immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1954, at the age of 16. Recently retired from University of New Hampshire, where he taught American literature and creative writing, he was appointed the 15th Poet Laureate of the United States in August 2007. He has published more than 20 collections of poetry, as well as essay collections, translations, and a memoir. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 and held a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant from 1984 to 1989. The Academy of American Poets has just named him winner of the Wallace Stevens Award.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Charles Simic, Sixty Poems (Harcourt, 2007)

Whenever I hear there's a new Charles Simic book coming out, I look forward to it with great anticipation; thus, I was somewhat disappointed when I found out that this one is a compilation of poems from his later books (the earliest poems here are from Unending Blues), so I'd already read them all. Still, it's always a pleasure to go back and revisit Charles Simic poems, but if you've read all the recent books, move along, folks, nothing to see here. As a beginner course in Simic, it's useful, but would have been more so had it included poems from his wonderful earlier books (and, for some reason, there's nothing in here from the Pulitzer-winning The World Doesn't End). ***
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By F. Tyler B. Brown on March 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Charles Simic- the 2007 Poet Laureate- is a Serbian born American poet, whose work has rightly been described as visceral. Take his poem The Melon, in which Mimic's stark, emotive images cut like a knife:

There was a melon fresh from the garden
So ripe a knife slurped
As it cut into six slices.
The children were going back to school.
Their mother, passing out paper plates,
Would not live to see the leaves fall.

I remember a hornet, too, that flew in
Through the open window
Mad to taste the sweet fruit
While we ducked and screamed,
Covered our heads and faces,
And sat laughing after it was gone.

Here with the use of a few images: a melon, knife, hornet, paper plates, autumn leaves, a loving mother, ducking and screaming individuals, Simic gives us a touching tale about the cycles-of-life. The poem is both ambitious in scope and powerful in purport.

The poem opens with the dark imagery of a man-made knife slicing, slurping through a juicy, ripe piece of fruit. The reader is let in on this simple domestic scene, only to learn that the scene's protagonist is, unbeknownst to her, living out the last summer of her life.

As a reader, you are left only to wrangle, cringe, and fear for what will become of her charmingly oblivious young children. The autumnal imagery of leaves falling, placed at the end of the first and opening stanza, exacerbates our grief for the family.

The spring imagery and buzzing hornet, which open the second and final stanza, taunt the reader- in light of what we know. The "open window" offers not the palliative freedom it should. The ducking, screaming, and laughing individuals evoke empathy for the children. The children's innocence pulls at the heartstrings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Sprandel on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These sixty poems, spanning from 1986 (Unending Blues) through 2005 (My Noiseless Entourage), offer a brief view of Simic's unique perspective on immigrant, insomniac, social and religious awareness. For example "In the Library" .. There I discovered / The angels were once as plentiful / As species of flies." "or "I believe in the soul,; so far/ It hasn't made much difference." He offers unique relationships to objects in our world, trees for example in Leaves "What am I saying? / One leaf in a million more fearful/ More happy, / Than all the others.", or insects "You'll envy every ant you meet in your life".
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Allen Blake on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simic has a quirky style. If you like quirk you may like this. Some profanity.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fred Longworth on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was received in excellent condition. Shipping was fairly quick. I have read many of the poems -- and enjoyed them. Simic is a contemporary master.
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