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Charles Simic

On this day without a date,
On a back street, dusky
— Charles Simic, from My Friend Someone

Hello All dVersian Pubsters! Lisa here to introduce today’s Prosery prompt line. As usual, I’m ready, willing, and able to pour you a drink of your choosing and serve up a snack from the magic cupboard that makes your fondest gustatory wishes come true.

Prosery is the prompt where we write prose based on some given lines of poetry. This can be flash-fiction or creative non-fiction, but it cannot exceed 144 words in total (not including the title) and must not be poetry (no versification, line breaks, metre, etc.)

Way back, once upon a time, I read Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes’ book, “Women Who Run with the Wolves.” One of the quotes I remember from it was by Charles Simic: “He who cannot howl will not find his pack.” (Perfect for those who run with the wolves, eh?) Last week an excellent poet I have recently started reading, Chris Morrison at ChrisBKM, mentioned Simic in his poem, “The Well,” and when I commented, Chris sent me a link to info on Simic. I was sad to learn that Charles passed away on January 9 of this year.

Just a small blurb about him, from wikipedia:
Dušan Simić, known as Charles Simic, (b. 5/9/38 – d. 1/9/23) was a Serbian-American poet and co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry once in 1990 and was a finalist twice.

Simić was born in Belgrade. In his early childhood, during World War II, he and his family were forced to evacuate their home several times to escape indiscriminate bombing of the city. Growing up as a child in war-torn Europe shaped much of his world-view. In an interview, he said, “Being one of the millions of displaced persons made an impression on me. In addition to my own little story of bad luck, I heard plenty of others. I’m still amazed by all the vileness and stupidity I witnessed in my life.

In 1954, he immigrated to the United States with his brother and mother to join his father. After spending a year in New York, his family moved to Oak Park, Illinois. In 1961, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. In 1966, he earned his B.A. from New York University while working at night to cover the costs of tuition.

Simic began to make a name for himself in the early to mid-1970s as a literary minimalist, writing terse, imagistic poems. He stated: “Words make love on the page like flies in the summer heat and the poet is merely the bemused spectator.

In 1973, he became a professor of American literature and creative writing at University of New Hampshire. He was influenced by Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, and Fats Waller. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1995, received the Academy Fellowship in 1998, and was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000.

In 2007, Simic was selected by James Billington, Librarian of Congress, to be the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. In choosing Simic as the poet laureate, Billington cited “the rather stunning and original quality of his poetry“.

In 2011, Simic was the recipient of the Frost Medal, presented annually for “lifetime achievement in poetry.

As I read Mr. Simic’s biography, I couldn’t help but wonder where along the way he realized he needed to find his pack; and when he realized it was through the howling of his poetry that he would find them — or they would find him.

Howling Wolf,” by Michael Creese

Now that you know a little about this illustrious wordsmith, it’s time to decide if you want to meet the challenge of writing prosery to Charles Simic’s following lines of poetry:

On this day without a date,
On a back street, dusky

Here’s how to take part in the Prosery Prompt:
•  Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose up of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line from the poem.
•  Post your Prosery piece on your blog and link back to this post.
•  Place the link to your actual post (not your blog url) on the Mister Linky page.
•  Don’t forget to check the little box to accept use/privacy policy.
•  Please visit other blogs and comment on their posts!