Poem of the Week

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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.

HITCHHIKERS

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.

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