Charles Simic

Comments & Themes


    • Simic is a fine poet for reasons that fall well beyond his mastery of the American idiom. How difficult do you think it must have been for a non-native speaker to achieve his ability? (think of all the American-born mediocre poets that infest community colleges)


    • In the light of Simic's fondness for the artwork of De Chirico and Cornell, establish similarities and differences between his poetry and their art.


    • "Originality" is a word that cannot be avoided when dealing with Simic's poetry. Can you defend its almost unanimous use among critics?


    • Simic doesn't seem to get in Spain the popularity (if that is the word) of an Ashbery or even Ammons. How fair do you think that is? Speculate about the possible reasons.


    • Discuss the influence of William Carlos Williams in Charles Simic.


    • Michael Milburn has said that in Simic's poetry "casual, unobtrusive language expresses the most fantastic images." That would also apply to other major poets of his age, like Bishop and Ashbery. Discuss their similarities and differences.


    • Spanish literature is obsessed with its civil war, yet many other people have suffered the consequences of similar disasters and their poems don't address this directly. In which ways can one see the effects of WWII in Simic's poetry?