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Charles Simic

(b. 1938)


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(1938– ),

Serbian‐born poet, who moved to America at the age of 15. His collection White (1972) returns to the foreign country he equates with his past. His poems in this collection typically combine this perspective on a historical ‘elsewhere’ with his characteristically original depictions of everyday objects. This portrayal of the familiar in startling, often unsettling ways runs through his later collections, most notably Charon's Cosmology (1977), Classic Ballroom Dances (1980), and Austerities (1982), and betrays the influence of the Surrealists, as well as of Serbian poetry, which he has done much to promote. The Horse Has Six Legs (1992) is a collection of his own translations of Serbian poetry. Much of his work deals with this dual identity, as a Serbian writer who returns to his ‘psychic roots’, but ‘with foreign words in my mouth’. Selected Poems 1963–2003 was published in 2004.

Subjects: Literature.


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