Walking the black cat : poems

by Charles Simic

Paperback, 1996






New York : Harcourt Brace & Co., c1996.


Hamlet's ghost wandering the halls of a Vegas motel, a street corner ventriloquist using passersby as dummies, and Jesus panhandling in a weed-infested Eden are just a few of the startling conceits Simic unleashes in this collection. "Few contemporary poets have been as influential-or inimitable-as Charles Simic" (New York Times Book Review).

User reviews

LibraryThing member VioletBramble
I bought this book years ago for a TIOLI challenge and never read it. (The challenge was to read a book written by an alumnus of your university) I choose this book for the October RandomCAT because of the word Black in the title and because the book jacket promises that Simic delivers startling new visions of the haunted landscape. This is the first time I've read the poetry of Charles Simic. Simic is the 1990 winner of the Pultizer Prize for Poetry.
These poems are strange, dreamlike things with a lot of classical references throughout. They're short, written in accessible language and a little bit creepy. I liked them- well, most of them.
Here are some examples specifically for October:


That same light by which I saw her last
Made me close my eyes now in revery,
Remembering how she sat in the garden

With a red shawl over her shoulders
And a small book in her lap,
Once in a long while looking up

With the day's brightness on her face,
As if to appraise something of utmost seriousness
She has just read at least twice,

With the sky clear and open to view,
Because the leaves had already fallen
And lay still around her two feet.


A tree spooked
By it's own evening whispers,
Afraid to rustle,
Just now
Bewitched by the distant sunset

Making a noise full of deep
Like bloody razor blades
Being shuffled,

And then again the quiet.
The birds too terror-stricken
To make their own comment.
Every leaf to every other leaf
An apparition,
A separate woe.

Bare twig:
A finger of suspicion.
… (more)



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