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Charles Simic
Published: Sun Apr 15 2001
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
Postcard from S.

So far I met here two Homers and one Virgil.
It’s like a living anthology of classic literature,
Thunder and lightning almost every afternoon.
When neighbors meet, they slap mosquitoes
On each other’s foreheads and go off red in the face.

I’m lying in a hammock next to a burning barn
Watching a birch tree in the yard.
One minute it wrestles with the wind and smoke,
The next it raises its fists to curse the gods.
That, of course, makes it a Trojan
To the Greeks just arriving on a fire engine.

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Charles Simic is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Hampshire. His recent books are That Little Something (poems), Renegade (essays), and The Monster Loves His Labyrinth (selections from notebooks). A MacArthur Fellow and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, he served as poet laureate of the United States from 2007 to 2008. (updated 4/2010)

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