So far I met here two Homers and one Virgil.
It’s like a living anthology of classic literature,
Thunder and lightning almost every afternoon.
When neighbors meet, they slap mosquitoes
On each other’s foreheads and go off red in the face.
I’m lying in a hammock next to a burning barn
Watching a birch tree in the yard.
One minute it wrestles with the wind and smoke,
The next it raises its fists to curse the gods.
That, of course, makes it a Trojan
To the Greeks just arriving on a fire engine.
Charles Simic, poet, essayist, and translator, has received numerous literary awards for his poetry and translations, including the Mac Arthur Fellowship and Pulitzer Prize. He teaches American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire and has published fourteen collections of his poetry, five books of essays and memoirs, and numerous books of translations. Jackstraws, his latest book of poems, was published by Harcourt Brace in 1999, as were his Selected Early Poems. (2001)