Friday, January 16, 2009

Country Fair, a poem by Charles Simic.

Charles Simic was born in Belgrade, which was then in Yugoslavia. Growing up as a child in war-torn Europe shaped much of his world-view. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1954 when he was sixteen. He grew up in Chicago and received his B.A. from New York University. He is currently professor emeritus of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire. He’s been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (1984-1989), and he’s won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1990). Most recently, he was given the Wallace Stevens Award (2007), a major annual American literary award for mastery of poetry in the English language awarded by the Academy of American Poets. Simic was selected to be the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007. When asked to comment on his poetry, he once said, " A poem is an invitation to a voyage. As in life, we travel to see fresh sights … Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat and the poet is only the bemused spectator."

Country Fair by Charles Simic

If you didn't see the six-legged dog,
It doesn't matter.
We did, and he mostly lay in the corner.
As for the extra legs,

One got used to them quickly
And thought of other things.
Like, what a cold, dark night
To be out at the fair.

Then the keeper threw a stick
And the dog went after it
On four legs, the other two flapping behind,
Which made one girl shriek with laughter.

She was drunk and so was the man
Who kept kissing her neck.
The dog got the stick and looked back at us.
And that was the whole show.

.......and that's the whole poem as well! I'll be back to business on Monday writing about learning from failure.

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