Description - Jackstraws by Charles Simic
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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(220mm x 140mm x 8mm)
Roundhouse Publishing Ltd
Publisher: Roundhouse Publishing Ltd
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Book Reviews - Jackstraws by Charles Simic
US Kirkus Review »
The Belgrade-born Pulitzer-winning Simic is known for his absurdist take on America's weirder tableaux (he's a sweet David Lynch), and his 13th collection is no exception. Take, for instance, "El libro de la sexualidad": "The pages of all the books are blank. / The late-night readers at the town library / Make no complaints about that." Simic still has his knack for scene-setting, but one too many poems of whimsical noticings begin to grate. "Live at Club Revolution" is strained in its cuteness: "Are those Corinna Brown's red panties / We see flying through the dark winter trees, / Or merely a lone crow taking home / His portion of the day's roadkill?" It's hard not to admire Simic's puckish use of riffraff to support larger metaphors. But what is the ultimate significance of his numerous oddballs, the transvestites, and the women with "flamethrower hair"? Despite the volume's kooky overload, some of Simic's pictures of casually ridiculous America still resound here: "Hanging Christmas decorations on a string. / "She's an idealist in an undertaker's shop," / You whispered as we read the stained menu / Waiting her to turn and acknowledge us." Poetry more akin to a compilation of wacky news stories. (Kirkus Reviews)
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