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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Death’s Side of the Bed

The New York Times has an interview with Charles Simic, the current American poet laureate. Deborah Solomon asks him what he thinks of the current crop of books on happiness:

It’s an industry. It’s really frightening. People need to read a book on how to be happy? It’s completely an American thing. Can you imagine people in Naples sitting on a bus or in a trattoria reading a book about happiness?

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 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.

From Charon’s Cosmology, by Charles Simic. Published by George Braziller. Copyright © 1977.

3 Responses to “Death’s Side of the Bed”

  1. Calvin says:

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  2. Futons says:

    This is such an intriguing piece of poetry. I really wish that the Poet Laureate got more face time in the nation’s eye.

  3. ideas says:

    Great! The articles so far have been full of great material. Glad to hear the serious will continue. Keep ’em coming!