John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Poet's Corner: Errata


Where it says snow
read teeth-marks of a virgin
Where it says knife read
you passed through my bones
like a police-whistle
Where it says table read horse
Where it says horse read my migrant's bundle
Apples are to remain apples
Each time a hat appears
think of Isaac Newton
reading the Old Testament
Remove all periods
They are scars made by words
I couldn't bring myself to say
Put a finger over each sunrise
it will blind you otherwise
That damn ant is still stirring
Will there be time left to list
all errors to replace
all hands guns owls plates
all cigars ponds woods and reach
that beer-bottle my greatest mistake
the word I allowed to be written
when I should have shouted
her name

Charles Simic (born 1938)

Charles Simic was named the 15th U.S. Poet Laureate this week, replacing Donald Hall, who stepped down after a single term due to health concerns. I didn't know anything about Simic before I read of his appointment in the Washington Post on Thursday morning, but I knew he was my kind of poet when I read the first lines of the article:

The way to become a poetry lover, according to the next U.S. poet laureate, Charles Simic:

Find a poetry anthology, any one will do, at the library.

Open it at random. Read aloud one stanza.

You won't like most of what you read.

But whatever you like, read that.

I heartily endorse the "open it at random" method of reading poety; I occasionally use that technique when looking for poems to post in this here journal, and it's yielded some really good stuff. And it's definitely true that in the course of looking for poems to post here each week, I've come to appreciate poetry more than I did before. Maybe that's true for some of you reading them too.

Tags: poet's corner

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.