I really love Charles Simic‘s poetry. Here’s proof that poetry is not dead and not opaque, far from it.
I couldn’t find the photo he saw, but the slides above are all by Walker Evans.
by Charles Simic
After a Walker Evans photograph from the thirties
Hard times brought them out early
On this dreary stretch of road
Carrying a suitcase and a bedroll
With a frying pan tied to it,
The kind you use over a campfire
When a moss-covered log is your pillow.
He’s hopeful and she’s ashamed
To be asking a stranger to take them
Away from here in a cloud of flying
Gravel and dust, past leafless trees
With their snarled and pointy little twigs.
A man and a woman catching a ride
To where water tastes like cherry wine.
She’ll work as a maid or a waitress,
He’ll pump gas or rob banks.
They’ll buy a car as big as a hearse
To make their fast getaway,
Not forgetting to stop for you, mister,
If you are down on your luck yourself.
- Charles Simic on Writing Poems (batterrier.com)
- Sunday Poem (3quarksdaily.com)
- Poets Laureate: Poems for Young Readers (tln.typepad.com)
- It’s a Poem…It’s Poetry…It’s Driving Me Crazy (k8edid.wordpress.com)
- Another reaction to If I Falter at the Gallows by Edward Mullany (vouchedbooks.com)
- Librarian of Congress Appoints W.S. Merwin Poet Laureate (prweb.com)
- It Really Matters (for Charles Simic) (darrianwthomas.wordpress.com)