Eyes Fastened with Pins

By Charles Simic b. 1938 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 is 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.

Charles Simic, “Eyes Fastened with Pins” 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 Home Life, Marriage & Companionship, Health & Illness, Family & Ancestors, Death, Jobs & Working, Living, Relationships, Activities

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 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 Home Life, Marriage & Companionship, Health & Illness, Family & Ancestors, Death, Jobs & Working, Living, Relationships, Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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