Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Charles Simic has been named poet laureate. Verse Magazine’s blog has a poem, as does The Cortland Review.

Eternity is a bathroom full of spider webs,
Dostoyevsky wrote.
I better get the passkey and see for myself.
I better bring some matches too.

At the Paris Review, Mark Ford interviews Simic in the mysterious distant past, Spring 2005.

INTERVIEWER

On the other hand, one of the main pleasures of your work, for me anyway, is the way it reminds us of all the ordinary pleasures of life, and urges us, or rather invites us, to enjoy them while we still can—things such as fried shrimp, tomatoes, roast lamb, red wine . . .

SIMIC

Don’t forget sausages sautéed with potatoes and onions! It’s also highly advisable to have a philosopher or two on hand. A few pages of Plato while working on a baked ham. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus over a bowl of spaghetti with littleneck clams. We think best when we bring opposites together, when we realize that all these realities, one inside the other, are somehow connected. That’s how the wonder and amazement that are so necessary to both poetry and philosophy come about. A “truth” detached and purified of pleasures of ordinary life is not worth a damn in my view. Every grand theory and noble sentiment ought to be first tested in the kitchen—and then in bed, of course.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 2, 2007 at 2:43 pm

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