—THE TOY OF LANGUAGE
WHAT'S MISSING is the laughter.
I can describe the setting for the interview—a small house in a rural New Hampshire town. The pine slope behind us runs down to a quiet lake. I can transcribe the words of the conversation. I can even offer you a glimpse of the poet's face, his dark brooding eyes. But I can't give you the deep Slavic voice, still heavily accented after so many years in America. I can't show you how his hands would spring to life, shaping the air in front of him or punctuating an idea with a quick gesture. And, most crucial of all, I can't include the laughter that boiled up after so many responses. (Occasionally I make note of it here, but only when its presence alters the meaning of his words. )
Sometimes the laughter is dark, ironic, echoing distant memories or nightmares. But often it is the deep throaty unbridled laugh of a grown-up child, savvy to the ways of the world but still delighted by its quirky beauty, its undiminished sense of possibility.
The poetry of Charles Simic has garnered many of the prestigious awards