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CHARLES SIMIC QUOTES

Serbian-American poet (1938- )

Silence is the only language god speaks.

CHARLES SIMIC, Dime-Store Alchemy

I left parts of myself everywhere,
The way absent-minded people leave
Gloves and umbrellas
Whose colors are sad from dispensing so much bad luck.

CHARLES SIMIC, "st. thomas aquinas," The Voice at 3:00 A.M.

He who cannot howl will not find his pack.

CHARLES SIMIC, Five Blind Men: Poems

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.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Paris Review, spring 2005

Metaphysics is the realm of eternal seduction of the spirit by ideas.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Unemployed Fortune-Teller

Poetry: three mismatched shoes at the entrance of a dark alley.

CHARLES SIMIC, Dime-Store Alchemy

To be an exception to the rule is my sole ambition.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth

If the sky falls they shall have clouds for supper.

CHARLES SIMIC, The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems

The stars know everything,
So we try to read their minds.
As distant as they are,
We choose to whisper in their presence.

CHARLES SIMIC, "autumn sky," The Voice at 3:00 A.M.

The world dreams of you
Buttoned up to the chin
Turning on a spit
With an apple in your mouth.

CHARLES SIMIC, My Noiseless Entourage

Only poetry can measure the distance between ourselves and the Other.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Unemployed Fortune-Teller

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.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Paris Review, spring 2005

Poetry is an orphan of silence.

CHARLES SIMIC, attributed, Stealing Glimpses: Of Poetry, Poets, and Things in Between

Insomnia is an all-night travel agency with posters advertising faraway places.

CHARLES SIMIC, Dime-Store Alchemy

The time of minor poets is coming. Good-by Whitman, Dickinson, Frost. Welcome you whose fame will never reach beyond your closest family, and perhaps one or two good friends gathered after dinner over a jug of fierce red wine.

CHARLES SIMIC, The World Doesn't End

The truth is dark under your eyelids.

CHARLES SIMIC, "Against Winter," Walking the Black Cat

New York looked like painted sets in a sideshow at a carnival where the bearded lady, sword- swallowers, snake charmers, and magicians make their appearances.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Paris Review, spring 2005

If I believe in anything, it is in the dark night of the soul. Awe is my religion, and mystery is its church.

CHARLES SIMIC, Orphan Factory: Essays and Memoirs

To submit to chance is to reveal the self and its obsessions.

CHARLES SIMIC, Dime-Store Alchemy

Writing is always a rough translation from wordlessness into words.

CHARLES SIMIC, attributed, Stealing Glimpses: Of Poetry, Poets, and Things in Between

The coming of the inevitable,
What a strange bliss that is.

CHARLES SIMIC, "separate truths," The Voice at 3:00 A.M.

A poem is an invitation to a voyage. As in life, we travel to see fresh sights.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth

For serenity you can’t beat a butterfly.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Paris Review, spring 2005

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.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Unemployed Fortune-Teller

When you play chess alone it's always your move.

CHARLES SIMIC, Jackstraws

You sit
Like a rain puddle in hell
Knitting the socks
Of your life.

CHARLES SIMIC, My Noiseless Entourage

One writes because one has been touched by the yearning for and the despair of ever touching the Other.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Unemployed Fortune-Teller

One of the distinct advantages of growing up in a place where one is apt to find men hung from lampposts as one walks to school is that it cuts down on grumbling about life as one grows older.

CHARLES SIMIC, The Paris Review, spring 2005

Trees like country preachers
On their rostrums,
Their arms raised in blessing
Over the evening fields.
Every leaf now, every weed
Helping the night
Darken and quiet the world
For what's to come.

CHARLES SIMIC, "café don quixote," The Voice at 3:00 A.M.


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