Sunday, August 5, 2007

Lauding the Laureate

whooooffft. Puh-puh-puh. Is this thing on? Can you HEAR{screeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeee} me?

Oh. Sorry, folks. {brightly} Hi, welcome to the first Sunday evening poetry reading sponsored by Likely Stories, with virtual victuals provided by the good folks at Booklist.

This week, the literary world is all aflutter over Charles Simic, the latest poet to earn a star in the biblio-cosmos otherwise known as the Library of Congress's Poet Laureate of the United States. We've all been hearing about two of his most famous volumes of poetry, Walking the Black Cat, a finalist for the National Book Award, and The World Doesn't End: Prose and Poems, his Pulitzer Prize winning collection. But we haven't heard much about one of his earlier, more experimental, volumes, White.

Just like the Fab Four, Simic has his own curious "album of art." White is full of Simic's sharp, vivid imagery and as an added bonus, readers can see his mind on parade in wildly creative Picasso-esque pencil illustrations for most poems.

Knives, clouds, moonrocks, virgins, Norwegian polar explorers, snow, brides, stars, handkerchiefs, teeth. All manner of white objects are present for your pondering pleasure.

To paraphrase America's bard, "Rock these words as you would an injured bird."

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