Jackstraws: Poems

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000 - Poetry - 96 pages
2 Reviews
In this new collection of sixty-two poems Charles Simic paints exquisite and shattering word pictures that lend meaning to a chaotic world populated by insects, bridal veils, pallbearers, TV sets, parrots, and a finely detailed dragonfly. Suffused with hope yet unafraid to mock his own credulity, Simic's searing metaphors unite the solemn with the absurd. His raindrops listen to each other fall and collect memories; his wildflowers are drunk with kissing the red-hot breezes; and his God is a Mr. Know-it-all, a wheeler-dealer, a wire-puller. In this latest lyrical gathering, Simic continues to startle his fans with the powerful and surprising images that are his trademark-slangy images of the ethereal, fantastic visions of the everyday, foreign scenes of the all-American-and moments full of humor and full of heartache.
 

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Review

User Review  - sameoldblues - Borders

I bought this book on an impulse for cheap, so I wasn't expecting too much, but by the third poem, I considered it the one of the better purchases I made that year. Fantastic imagery, cleverness, and some humor. This was my first book by Charles Simic, and it certainly won't be the last. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wrmjr66 - LibraryThing

I didn't have a lot of exposure to Simic before. His poetry has a jocular, ironic tone, and he likes to make absurd-like comparisons. He is interested in big questions, but not in a systematic way. At ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

SpeckSized Screaming Head
4
The Soul Has Many Brides
5
The History of Costumes
6
Medieval Miniature
7
Private Eye
8
The Common Insects of North America
9
De Occulta Philosophia
10
Live at Club Revolution
12
In the Street
39
Past the Animal Hospital
40
Filthy Landscape
41
Love Poem
42
Prison Guards Silhouetted Against the Sky
43
The Blizzard of Love
44
The OnceOver
45
Jackstraws
46

Mother Tongue
13
NonStop War with Bugs
14
Midnight Freight
15
Barber College Shave
16
The Street of Martyrs
17
Poor Little Devil
18
Streets Paved with Gold
19
The Gang of Mirrors
20
St George and the Dragon
21
The Famous NoShows
22
Bug Doctor
24
My Friend Someone
25
Taking a Breather
26
El libro de la sexualidad
29
Arriving Celebrities
30
Modern Sorcery
31
BigTime Wrestling
32
Ship of Fools
33
Mummys Curse
34
The Return of the Invisible Man
35
Dream Broker
36
Odd Sympathies
37
Amour Fou
38
Beauty Parlor
47
My Little Utopia
48
School for Visionaries
51
Ambiguitys Wedding
52
On a Lack of Respect Paid to the Ceiling
53
Vacant Rooms
54
The Invisibles
56
Insomniacs Debating Society
57
Ancient Divinities
58
Empty Picture Frame
59
Midsummer Feast
60
Obscurely Occupied
61
House of Horrors
62
To the One Upstairs
63
Head of a Doll
64
On the Meadow
65
Empty Rocking Chair
66
Three Photographs
67
The Mouse in the Radio
68
The Toy
69
Talking to the Ceiling
74
Mystic Life
82
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About the author (2000)

CHARLES SIMIC was born in Belgrade and emigrated to the United States in 1954. He is the author of many books of poetry and prose. Among other honors, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 and served as the Poet Laureate of the United States in 2007-2008.

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