Charles Simic Quotes

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#1. Never since the beginning of the world has there been so little light. Our winter afternoons have been known at times to last a hundred years. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#2. Found objects, chance creations, ready-mades (mass-produced items promoted into art objects, such as Duchamp's "Fountain"-urinal as sculpture) abolish the separation between art and life. The commonplace is miraculous if rightly seen. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#3. I do believe that a poem needs to remind the reader of his or her own humanity, of what they are, of what they're capable of. Awaken them, in a sense, to the fact that there's a world in front of their eyes, that they have a body, they're going to die, the sky is beautiful, it's fun to be in a grassy field when the sun is shining - those kinds of things. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#4. I remember," someone said, "how in ancient times one could turn a wolf into a human and then lecture it to one's heart's content. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#5. In their effort to divorce language and experience, deconstructionist critics remind me of middle-class parents who do not allow their children to play in the street. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#6. Poetry: three mismatched shoes at the entrance of a dark alley.
- Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#7. For Emily Dickinson every philosophical idea was a potential lover. Metaphysics is the realm of eternal seduction of the spirit by ideas. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#8. The religion of the short poem, in every age and in every literature, has a single commandment: Less is always more. The short poem rejects preamble and summary. It's about all and everything, the metaphysics of a few words surrounded by much silence. ... The short poem is a match flaring up in a dark universe. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#9. Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#10. It was only the sea sounding weary
After so many lifetimes
Of pretending to be rushing off somewhere
And never getting anywhere. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#11. Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat and the poet is only the bemused spectator. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#12. On this Very Street in Belgrade
Your mother carried you
Out of the smoking ruins of a building
And set you down on this sidewalk
Like a doll bundled in burnt rags,
Where you now stood years later
Talking to a homeless dog,
Half-hidden behind a parked car,
His eyes brimming with hope
As he inched forward, ready for the worst. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#13. Immigration, exile, being uprooted and made a pariah may be the most effective way yet devised to impress on an individual the arbitrary nature of his or her own existence. Who needed a shrink of a guru when everyone we met asked us who we were the moment we opned our mouths and they heard the accent?

The truth is, we had no simple answers. Being rattled around in freight trains, open trucks, and ratty ocean-liners, we ended up being a puzzle even to ourselves. At first, that was hard to take; then we got used to the idea. We began to savor it, to enjoy it. Being nobody struck me personally as being far more interesting than being somebody. The streets were full of these "somebodys" putting on confident airs. Half the time I envied them; half the time I looked down on them with pity. I knew something they didn't, something hard to come by unless history gives you a good kick in the ass: how superfluous and insignificant in any grand scheme mere individuals are. And how pitiless are those who have no understanding that this could be their fate too. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#14. Most of the American films were made in southern California, so if you were in Europe, watching those palm trees swaying in the wind with someone like Rita Hayworth gliding underneath them in a white convertible, you got all kinds of wonderfully wrong ideas about the place. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#15. Like many others, I grew up in an age that preached liberty and built slave camps. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#16. A 'truth' detached and purified of pleasures of ordinary life is not worth a damn in my view. Every grand theory and noble sentiment ought to be first tested in the kitchen-and then in bed, of course. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#17. Poems are other people's snapshots in which we see our own lives. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#18. I was already dozing off in the shade, dreaming that the rustling trees were my many selves explaining themselves all at the same time so that I could not make out a single word. My life was a beautiful mystery on the verge of understanding, always on the verge! Think of it! - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#19. I insist on remaining aloof, self-absorbed, lovingly nursing my suspicions. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#20. MY SECRET IDENTITY IS

The room is empty,
And the window is open - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#21. Only brooms
Know the devil
Still exists,
That the snow grows whiter
After a crow has flown over it - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#22. When you play chess alone it's always your move. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#23. A true confession: I believe in a soluble fish. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#24. The highest levels of consciousness are wordless. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#25. And of course, for all we know, I might be a hundred years old already, and she just a sleepy little girl with glasses. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#26. Only poetry can measure the distance between ourselves and the Other. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#27. Not the least charm of this tableau is that it can be so easily dismissed as preposterous. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#28. It is the desire for irreverence as much as anything else that brought me first to poetry. The need to make fun of authority, break taboos, celebrate the body and its functions, claim that one has seen angels in the same breath as one says that there is no god. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#29. The world is beautiful but not sayable. That's why we need art. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#30. The stars know everything,
So we try to read their minds.
As distant as they are,
We choose to whisper in their presence. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#31. In the Library"

for Octavio


There's a book called
"A Dictionary of Angels."
No one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies.
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books.
The great secret lies
On some shelf Miss Jones
Passes every day on her rounds.

She's very tall, so she keeps
Her head tipped as if listening.
The books are whispering.
I hear nothing, but she does. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#32. If the sky falls they shall have clouds for supper. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#33. Charles Simic, when asked what he thought of Slam Poetry events: "They are fun, but they have as much to do with poetry as Elvis Presley had to do with Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk". - Author: Charles Simic
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#34. I love America," he'd tell us. We were going to make a million dollars manufacturing objects we had seen in dreams that night. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#35. Time - the lizard in the sunlight. It doesn't move, but its eyes are wide open. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#36. The stone is a mirror which works poorly. Nothing in it but dimness. Your dimness or its dimness, who's to say? In the hush your heart sounds like a black cricket. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#37. There are knives that glitter like altars
In a dark church
Where they bring the cripple and the imbecile
To be healed.
There's a woden block where bones are broken,
Scraped clean
a river dried to its bed - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#38. History is a cookbook. The tyrants are chefs. The philosophers write menus. The priests are waiters. The military men are bouncers. The singing you hear is the poets washing dishes in the kitchen. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#39. To submit to chance is to reveal the self and its obsessions. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#40. There's a book called
"A Dictionary of Angels."
No one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered
The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies.
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.
Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#41. In the dark to see, you ass-scratchers! In the dark to see. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#42. Memory, all-night's bedside tattoo artist. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#43. The truth is dark under your eyelids.
What are you going to do about it?
The birds are silent; there's no one to ask.
All day long you'll squint at the gray sky.
When the wind blows you'll shiver like straw.

A meek little lamb you grew your wool
Till they came after you with huge shears.
Flies hovered over open mouth,
Then they, too, flew off like the leaves,
The bare branches reached after them in vain.

Winter coming. Like the last heroic soldier
Of a defeated army, you'll stay at your post,
Head bared to the first snow flake.
Till a neighbor comes to yell at you,
You're crazier than the weather, Charlie. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#44. The secret wish of poetry is to stop time. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#45. Once I knew, then I forgot. It was as if I had fallen asleep in a field only to discover at waking that a grove of trees had grown up around me.
"Doubt nothing, believe everything," was my friend's idea of metaphysics, although his brother ran away with his wife. He still bought her a rose every day, sat in the empty house for the next twenty years talking to her about the weather.
I was already dozing off in the shade, dreaming that the rustling trees were my many selves explaining themselves all at the same time so that I could not make out a single word. My life was a beautiful mystery on the verge of understanding, always on the verge! Think of it!
My friend's empty house with every one of its windows lit. The dark trees multiplying all around it. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#46. Inside is where we meet everyone else; it's on the outside that we are truly alone. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#47. A poem is an invitation to a voyage. As in life, we travel to see fresh sights. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#48. A poem is an instant of lucidity in which
the entire organism participates. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#49. He who cannot howl will not find his pack. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#50. The ambition of much of today's literary theory seems to be to find ways to read literature without imagination. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#51. This strange thing must have crept
Right out of hell.
It resembles a bird's foot
Worn around the cannibal's neck.
As you hold it in your hand,
As you stab with it into a piece of meat,
It is possible to imagine the rest of the bird:
Its head which like your fist
Is large, bald, beakless, and blind. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#52. Because the light is always with us
and the hush of an early morning
time propitious to plain speech
space between the premonition
and the event
the small lovely realm
of the possible. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#53. Making art in America is about saving one's soul. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#54. I could never free myself from the thought that Nature is that which is slowly killing me. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#55. The poem I want to write is impossible. A stone that floats. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#56. Sleeplessness is like metaphysics. Be there.
-Charles Simic - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#57. The plain truth is we are going to die. Here I am, a teeny spec surrounded by boundless space and time, arguing with the whole of creation, shaking my fist, sputtering, growing even eloquent at times, and then-poof! I am gone. Swept off once and for all. I think that is very, very funny. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#58. Roberto Calasso's survey of the renewed interest in myth demonstrates how decisive the gods' influence was on modern literature. Calasso is not only immensely learned; he is one of the most original thinkers and writers we have today. - Author: Charles Simic
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#59. Here is something we can all count on. Sooner or later our tribe always comes to ask us to agree to murder. - Author: Charles Simic
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#60. Thoreau loved ants. He'd meet one in the morning and spend the whole day talking to him. - Author: Charles Simic
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#61. If I believe in anything, it is in the dark night of the soul. Awe is my religion, and mystery is its church. - Author: Charles Simic
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#62. The idea is to spin the wheel of metaphors and images until sparks of associations begin to fly for the reader. - Author: Charles Simic
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Simic
#63. She came out here ... turned this way, must have trod on these stones often. Let me follow in her steps. - Author: Charles Dickens
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Dickens
#64. A Companion Picture XII. The Fellow of Delicacy XIII. - Author: Charles Dickens
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Dickens
#65. If he stays inside himself, if he is contained within his nature as he is participant in the larger force, he will be able to listen, and his hearing through himself will give him secrets objects share. - Author: Charles Olson
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#66. If the pace and the push, the noise and the crowds are getting to you, it's time to stop the nonsense and find a place of solace to refresh your spirit - Author: Charles R. Swindoll
Charles Simic quotes by Charles R. Swindoll
#67. After tea, when the door was shut and all was made snug (the nights being cold and misty now), it seemed to me the most delicious retreat that the imagination of man could conceive. To hear the wind getting up out at sea, to know that the fog was creeping over the desolate flat outside, and to look at the fire, and think that there was no house near but this one, and this one a boat, was like enchantment. Little Em'ly had overcome her shyness, and was sitting by my side upon the lowest and least of the lockers, which was just large enough for us two, and just fitted into the chimney corner. - Author: Charles Dickens
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Dickens
#68. I thought of all my rotten jobs and how glad I was to have them.
for a while.
then it was a matter of quitting or getting fired.
both felt good. - Author: Charles Bukowski
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Bukowski
#69. IF you would see souls converted, if you would hear the cry that "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord;" if you would place crowns upon the head of the Saviour, and see His throne lifted high, then be filled with zeal. - Author: Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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#70. I wonder if the falcon knows of his gift of grace.
Does he ever just take upon wing for the pure joy of it.
He seems only to fly with purpose.
He cares not of my envy.
Mocking me as he dances with angels.
But in my dreams I soar with him among the clouds, the cool breeze on my face as we climb higher.
Perhaps one day I will know when I'm in the presence of God.
For surely he will grant me this that I've dreamed. - Author: Charles Garrett
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Garrett
#71. Crisis. Attempts were made to organize a captive breeding population, but the natural objections of the population in question to being so manipulated - combined with our own innate reflexive obedience - foiled all such programs. We are conditioned to adore and obey our Creators on a personal basis, and while it is easy enough to understand the abstract need to preserve their kind as a whole, the conflict between their specific desires and the needs of the species imposed an impossible burden upon their would-be conservators. We - Author: Charles Stross
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Stross
#72. The victim to too severe a law is considered as a martyr rather than a criminal. - Author: Charles Caleb Colton
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Caleb Colton
#73. It's much harder to say "I'm going to kill three of the biggest characters in your universe in a gruesome bloodbath." There can be a lot of differing opinions in a mainstream comic book, you know? "Rogue would never do this!" But I can say, "No, Rogue suffered the death of Charles Xavier and it broke her down and she stumbled into a dark place and she started fixating on the Scarlet Witch as the cause of it all" - which, there is a logical chain of events that lead to the Scarlet Witch. And in the confusion, she thought Wanda was up to doing it again and she did what she thought was best. - Author: Rick Remender
Charles Simic quotes by Rick Remender
#74. I shall easily show that it is impossible to tax further, ruinous to be always borrowing and not enough to confine ourselves to measures of economy. - Author: Charles Alexandre De Calonne
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Alexandre De Calonne
#75. What separates courage from fear are the thoughts we choose to believe. - Author: Charles F. Glassman
Charles Simic quotes by Charles F. Glassman
#76. I have no fear of going home; I have sent all before me; God's finger is on the latch of my door, and I am ready for Him to enter. - Author: Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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#77. British subjects in America: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any - Author: Charles Dickens
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#78. He would have us like children who believe what their father tells them. - Author: Charles Spurgeon
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Spurgeon
#79. Nothing teaches us so much the preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the emptiness of all besides. - Author: Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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#80. It is clear that every immediate object of our senses both exists and is real in the primary meaning of these terms so long as we remain aware of the object. - Author: Charles D. Broad
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#81. But an important point is that, once again as with "scientific" proofs of atheism, it is not the cast-iron intellectual reasoning which convinces, but the relief of revolt. - Author: Charles Taylor
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#82. I got lost somehow, began staring up her legs. I was always a leg man. It was the first thing I saw when I was born. But then I was trying to get out. Ever since I have been working in the other direction and with pretty lousy luck. - Author: Charles Bukowski
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#83. Speak well of the law. Take care of your chest and voice, my good friend, and leave the law to take care of itself. I give you that advice - Author: Charles Dickens
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#84. Why is it that we can better bear to part in spirit than in body, and while we have the fortitude to act farewell, have not the nerve to say it? - Author: Charles Dickens
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#85. Wandering aimlessly, broken by my thoughts,
Which slowly sharpened daggers at my heart - Author: Charles Baudelaire
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Baudelaire
#86. I hope to see more programming, more shows, more actors of mixed ethnicity, more young kids of mixed ethnicity choosing to be in the entertainment industry. - Author: Charles Michael Davis
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#87. If you want to succeed, limit yourself. - Author: Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve
Charles Simic quotes by Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve
#88. There was dusting and sweeping to do, books to be put away. Lovely books. It didn't matter to Dick if they were serious leather-bound tomes or paperbacks with garish covers. He loved them all, for they were filled with words, and words were magic to this hob. Wise and clever humans had used some marvelous spell to imbue each book with every kind of story and character you could imagine, and many you couldn't. If you knew the key to unlock the words, you could experience them all - Pixel Pixies - Author: Charles De Lint
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#89. Perhaps nobody ever accomplishes all that he feels lies in him to do; but nearly every one who tries his power touches the walls of his being. - Author: Charles Dudley Warner
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#90. Dying should come easy: like a freight train you don't hear when your back is turned. - Author: Charles Bukowski
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Bukowski
#91. Lie on!' cried the usurer, 'with your iron tongue! Ring merrily for births that make expectants writhe, and marriages that are made in hell, and toll ruefully for the dead whose shoes are worn already! Call men to prayers who are godly because not found out, and ring chimes for the coming in of every year that brings this cursed world nearer to it's end.
No bell or book for me! Throw me on a dunghill, and let me rot there, to infect the air! - Author: Charles Dickens
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Dickens
#92. While three men hold together, the kingdoms are less by three. - Author: Algernon Charles Swinburne
Charles Simic quotes by Algernon Charles Swinburne
#93. You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here's how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do's and don'ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately ... yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur. - Author: Charles R. Swindoll
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#94. The anvil breaks a legion of hammers - by quietly bearing their blows. - Author: Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Charles Simic quotes by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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