The Indy Bookshelf | Arts Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The Indy Bookshelf 

The Voice at 3:00 a.m.

The Voicee at 3:00 A.M.: Selected New and Late Poems
By Charles Simic
Harcourt, 192 pp., $25

The widely published American poet, Charles Simic, has often said that he is Emily Dickenson's lost lover. This most recent collection of poems, The Voice at 3:00 A.M.: Selected New and Late Poems, is further evidence that the claim is more than a morbid jest.

Simic, first published in 1967, is the author of more than 60 books of prose and poetry. He received the Pulitzer Prize for The World Doesn't End (1990); Walking the Black Cat (1996) was a finalist for the National Book Award. A MacArthur "genius grant" recipient, Simic has, in addition to his own work, published numerous translations of Eastern-European and Baltic poetry.

Born in Belgrade in 1938, the emigre Simic writes in English and his poetry has an American feel to it. His language is colloquial (if sometimes brushed by the literary) and his line breaks have a muscular, industrial decisiveness that speaks of an American ethos. But it is a dark America, filled with both the gothic lyric and the grotesque. Above all, this is poetry of the American orphan who remains estranged, adrift in rooming houses; who is still a Catholic, but reads books on the Illuminati in used bookstores; who struggles under the spell of the silence cast over a small town in America, by World War II.

Simic is often called a surrealist, but his work is far closer to Imagist poetry in its attention to the apparent. And while his work shows the effects of the modernist pressures which produced an Ashbury, in Simic's poetry, language is still a means for probing and revealing the difficulty and raptures of being together; of saying anything that is shared. Hence, although poetry is a strange kind of art--thin, almost without weight; full of lies--one has the sense that some specifically cared for, still tangible world has passed before Simic's eyes.

That said, this latest collection does not represent a new turn for Simic. The main body of poems are drawn from previously published man

  • The Voice at 3:00 a.m.

More by David Need

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts Feature



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

There is a long list of benefits that can come out of a successful viral marketing campaign for your business. …

by Ryan Silver on A tale of two memes: The Triangle backstories of a pair of recent viral video sensations (Arts Feature)

I've been waiting for over a decade to get in there without feeling like I'm wasting anyone's time. Now I …

by Liz Mckay on Durham’s Best (OK, Only) Rare Tuba Museum Opens to the Public (Arts Feature)

Wow, thank you for the wonderful editorial and amazing pictures. All the best to you two! - Aiyana

by SimonettiTubaCollection on Durham’s Best (OK, Only) Rare Tuba Museum Opens to the Public (Arts Feature)

WOW, good information.

by Diana Haywood on Discover Oberlin Cemetery, a Buried History of Black Prosperity Hidden in Cameron Village (Arts Feature)

Absolutely a great performance! A much needed and timely message that was executed by an extremely talented group. Loved it

by Biggoppa on Five things that mattered this year in the performing arts (Arts Feature)

Comments

There is a long list of benefits that can come out of a successful viral marketing campaign for your business. …

by Ryan Silver on A tale of two memes: The Triangle backstories of a pair of recent viral video sensations (Arts Feature)

I've been waiting for over a decade to get in there without feeling like I'm wasting anyone's time. Now I …

by Liz Mckay on Durham’s Best (OK, Only) Rare Tuba Museum Opens to the Public (Arts Feature)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation