Charon’s Cosmology

By Charles Simic b. 1938 Charles Simic
With only his dim lantern   
To tell him where he is
And every time a mountain   
Of fresh corpses to load up

Take them to the other side
Where there are plenty more
I’d say by now he must be confused   
As to which side is which

I’d say it doesn’t matter
No one complains he’s got
Their pockets to go through
In one a crust of bread in another a sausage

Once in a long while a mirror   
Or a book which he throws   
Overboard into the dark river   
Swift and cold and deep

Charles Simic, “Charon’s Cosmology” 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 (George Braziller Inc., 1999)

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Poet Charles Simic b. 1938

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Death, Living

 Charles  Simic

Biography

Charles Simic is widely recognized as one of the most visceral and unique poets writing today. Simic’s work has won numerous awards, among them the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and, simultaneously, the Wallace Stevens Award and appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate. He taught English and creative writing for over thirty years at the University of New Hampshire. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Death, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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