MY NOISELESS ENTOURAGE

Charles Simic, Author . Harcourt $22 (64p) ISBN 978-0-15-101214-5

Over the past three decades, Simic's compact, often spooky poems of displacement, violence and anxiety have won him national acclaim (and a Pulitzer); for some readers, Simic's frightened children, intrepid shopkeepers and bleak fairy-tale atmospheres mark his work as late-blooming surrealism, while others link his sensibility to the violence he escaped as a child in 1940s Serbia. Simic offers many sinister delights, if few big shockers, in this 14th volume of new work: of its four sections, the first two stick largely to the grittily familiar Simic settings: "All-night cafeterias,/ Dark barrooms/ And poolhalls," not to mention "an empty platform/ With no town in sight." Short, bleary lines alternate streamlined realism with dreamlike gloom: "A tongue by itself in a birdcage" begs for water, while a walker explores "A few homes lately foreclosed." The last (and best) parts of the book expand Simic's repertoire of images, moving from film noir scenes into bizarre parables: "that world out there," the poet shows, "Is a riddle even you can't solve." Helpless, baffled, resigned and nevertheless charming, Simic (Hotel Insomnia ; etc.) makes up for his limited range by offering verse with almost no false notes; standout poems attack war or mull the absence of God ("the least he could do is put up a sign"), and the whole collection establishes Simic once again as a reliable master of his particular, melancholy, wry mode. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/24/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.