"It's nice to be quoted, especially things you don't remember saying."
"Somebody annoyed me. Somebody asked me, Why do you have so many dogs in your poems? It's like asking Robert Frost, Mr. Frost, why do have so many trees?"
On love poems: "Everything you come up with is a cliché."
"I write short poems, but some of them are ridiculously short."
On the poem, "1938": "The first poem I wrote with the help of Google."
This video is Simic reading "1938" in 2010:
Here's a Simic love poem that is short, but not ridiculously so, and is definitely not a cliché:
Love FleaI received an email notification from the Bookstock Literary Festival about two weeks ago. It had a link to videos of many of the poets and writers who read and spoke. I really appreciated receiving the link because there were some tough choices made about which workshops I would attend. You know how it goes, there are almost always two things you want to go to that are scheduled at the exact same time. One poet I missed was Martin Espada. I had seen him at the Dodge Festival a few years ago, and wanted to hear him again, so I'm happy the video is available.
He took a flea
From her armpit
In a matchbox,
Even pricking his finger
From time to time
To feed it
Drops of blood.
From A Wedding in Hell  and New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012 .
[If you're in a book discussion group, you may have come across the novels of Roland Merullo such as Breakfast With Buddha or The Talk-Funny Girl. If so, I'd highly recommend watching his presentation; I was a fan before the festival--I'm an even bigger one now!]
For the Poetry Friday Round-Up, please visit Jama's Alphabet Soup where something wonderful is always cookin'!
I don't imagine I'll ever be able to go to this festival, Diane, so thank you for the links. That is some love poem, & you're right, no cliche!ReplyDelete
You never know, Linda. Someone who stayed in the same B & B had come from southern CA (not just for the festival, of course, she kinda just bumped into it).Delete
Thanks, Diane. It looks like an amazing festival. That flea poem is creepy.ReplyDelete
A little creepy...and a little fascinating at the same time.Delete
Eek, I just can't romanticize a flea! BUT. It is surprising, and isn't that one of the most wonderful things about poetry?? Thank you for sharing!ReplyDelete
And, it speaks to the over-the-top reactions some people have to love. Hopefully exaggerated for effect. ;-)Delete
Oh my goodness, that's one unique love poem. Blood and fleas!ReplyDelete
I wonder what his love thought of it?Delete
Enjoyed the video and the quotes you shared. I haven't read enough Simic and must remedy that. Still pondering that flea . . .ReplyDelete
It seems that when I had picked up one of his books in the past, I found it incomprehensible. However, the poems Simic read and talked about seemed so accessible to me, I wonder what it was I had picked up? He had a friendly demeanor in his presentation and that, alone, got me to take another look at his poems.Delete
!938 as a "Google poem" sticks with me - so many varied images woven through this one.ReplyDelete
Simic explained that he needed to do the research because he was only a baby when it all happened!Delete
"Love Flea" seems to be more about a man's love for his dog than 2-legged partner...but not at first blush, obviously, which is why I like it!ReplyDelete
Ah yes, except for the word "armpit." Do dogs have armpits?Delete
What a great experience for you! And being in Vermont at this time of year must have been a beautiful sight (not that NH's not, mind you!) I confess, I am just warped enough to really like "Love Flea" and the first quote was definitely something I could appreciate as well!ReplyDelete
Vermont is very lush in the summer--it's no wonder it's called the "Green Mountain" state.Delete
Thanks for this! I love reading Simic's articles. It must have been really fun to hear him speak.ReplyDelete