Goldfish in a Pickle Jar




The many reasons Charles Simic was chosen as the country's poet laureate.

"It was such a sad story, it made everyone laugh" - it is a signature Simic sentence that neatly illustrates what makes his Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry so stimulating, evidenced again in his latest book, "Master of Disguises" [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22]. The book's poems are laced with such opposing images, tied together, juxtaposed. They unsettle, even shock.

Before long you've traveled into his surreal world, wrapping your mind around "a country store full of gravediggers' children buying candy," "wild flowers along the road to hell" and "streams of blood in the gutter waiting for sunrise."

Beyond the imagery is the expertly crafted story. In just a few lines (most of the poems are just a half-page long), Simic makes you feel that you're halfway through a novel that you don't want to put down.

"It's quarter to two/On this street of darkened pawnshops/Welfare hotels and tenements/One or two ragged puppets are awake."

Ragged puppets? Tell me more.

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Secret Swimming Spots
    So maybe "secret" is a stretch, but if you're looking to escape the summer crowds, then here are...
  2. Mom Goes to Pot
    Therapeutic cannabis is in the house.
  3. The Youthful Return of the Family Farm
    A new generation is energizing the old tradition at businesses like the Vernon Family Farm.
  4. Riverdale NH
    With a new statue in Meredith, a cultural icon will invite you to sit a spell.
  5. White-Knuckle Thrills
    Where to find whitewater in the Granite State
  6. Cherishing Education
    Does New Hampshire make the grade?
  7. Horse Sense
    Queen City mounted police aren’t about to ride off into the sunset.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags