# Poetry 7 Charles Simic

Updated: Nov 19



The Voice at 3am Charles Simic


I read Charles Simic’s The Voice at 3am. Selected Late and New Poems. It was strange to read this book and never become immersed in its strange world. It would be akin to being immersed in a hedge.

Helen Vendler:

He (Simic) has written that in its essence, “a lyric poem is about time stopped. Language moves in time, but the lyric impulse is vertical.”

The poems are like self-developing Polaroids, in which a scene, gradually assembling itself out of unexplained images, suddenly clicks into a recognizable whole.


I don’t recognise the sudden clicking into a recognizable whole. Instead I feel the strangeness is eventually accommodated on its own terms. Like the piece of wrack that arrives on the shore, it’s a fragment and through its survival becomes a whole.


Edited by my limited attention.