Happy Birthday, Charles Simić, born 9 May 1938
- Silence is the only language god speaks.
- There’s no preparation for poetry. Four years of grave digging with a nice volume of poetry or a book of philosophy in one’s pocket would serve as well as any university.
- In their effort to divorce language and experience, deconstructionist critics remind me of middle-class parents who do not allow their children to play in the street.
- The poem I want to write is impossible. A stone that floats.
- The plain truth is we are going to die. Here I am, a teeny speck surrounded by boundless space and time, arguing with the whole of creation, shaking my fist, sputtering, growing even eloquent at times, and then-poof! I am gone. Swept off once and for all. I think that is very, very funny.
- The same type of lunatics who made the world what it was when I was a kid are still around. They want more wars, more prisons, more killing. It’s all horribly familiar, very tiresome and frightening, of course.
- Poetry: three mismatched shoes at the entrance of a dark alley.
Simić is a Serbian-American poet who was co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 and he was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007.
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