Posted by: shorelineclusterpoets | January 22, 2010

Found poetry Friday: Charles Simic

Skipping ahead to modern times, I’ve chosen a poem I just read for the first time this week. Charles Simic, former poet laureate of the US, is a great, witty writer. I had the pleasure of hearing him read at Yale a few years ago. Despite the small space, large crowd and overbearing traffic noise, his reading was calming and inspired at once.  I own his “The Voice at 3 a.m.” and find it terrific. You can open to any page and be carried away. Explore on to read his “Eyes fastened with pins.”

Eyes Fastened with Pins

by Charles Simic

How much death works,
No one knows what a long
Day he puts in. The little
Wife always alone
Ironing death’s laundry.
The beautiful daughters
Setting death’s supper table.
The neighbors playing
Pinochle in the backyard
Or just sitting on the steps
Drinking beer. Death,
Meanwhile, in a strange
Part of town looking for
Someone with a bad cough,
But the address is somehow wrong,
Even death can’t figure it out
Among all the locked doors …
And the rain beginning to fall.
Long windy night ahead.
Death with not even a newspaper
To cover his head, not even
A dime to call the one pining away,
Undressing slowly, sleepily,
And stretching naked
On death’s side of the bed.

taken from

Charles Simic, “Eyes Fastened with Pins” from Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Charles Simic. Reprinted with the permission of George Braziller, Inc. Source: Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems (1999)



  1. Ooh good one! Reminds me of the book I am reading for a book club–The Book Thief. It’ written in the voice of death and has made me a little more sympathetic to him (her?).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: