An insightful and haunting new collection from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic
Irreverent and sly, observant and keenly imagined, Come Closer and Listen is the latest work from one of our most beloved poets. With his trademark sense of humor, open-hearted empathy, and perceptive vision, Charles Simic roots his poetry in the ordinary world while still taking in the wide sweep of the human experience.
From poems pithy, wry, and cutting—“Time—that murderer/that no has caught yet”—to his layered reflections on everything from love to grief to the wonders of nature, from the story of St. Sebastian to that of a couple weeding side by side, Simic’s work continues to reveal to us an unmistakable voice in modern poetry. An innovator in form and a chronicler of both our interior lives and the people we are in the world, Simic remains one of our most important and lasting voices on the page.
Charles Simic was a poet, essayist, and translator who was born in Yugoslavia in 1938 and immigrated to the United States in 1954. He published more than twenty books of poetry, in addition to a memoir and numerous books of translations for which he received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Wallace Stevens Award. In 2007, he served as poet laureate of the United States. He was a distinguished visiting writer at New York University and professor emeritus at the University of New Hampshire, where he taught since 1973. He died in January 2023 at the age of eighty-four.
“Simic...has always challenged and delighted his audience with writing that is beautiful and surreal and forces people to consider the validity of their own perceptions.” — Washington Post
“One of our finest poets... singularly engaging, eminently sane...” — New York Review of Books
“His poetry … is comic and elegiac in equal measure. It has an Old World sensibility…that he pins to a New World lightness of heart.” — Dwight Garner, New York Times