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.
• Please visit other blogs and comment on their posts!
Greetings to All! Happy Monday. The pub is open!
Good evening one and all, and thank you Lisa for hosting and reminding us of the work of Charles Simic. Although it has been warmer outside today, it has been a little chilly inside, so a hot chocolate with a shot of Tia Maria and some cream would be welcome, with some chocolate covered nuts – I used to love them and haven’t had any for a long time!
Welcome, Kim, my pleasure to host. Hot chocolate with a shot of Tia Maria and some cream sounds so delicious and satisfying, I’m making two, one for you and one for me. And a dish of chocolate covered nuts. Cheers!
Thank you LIsa!
You’re most welcome.
That’s a small blurb? Just kidding 🙂
Oy… you like to challenge us, eh?
LOL, Dale! I should have added a small blurb of what was a very long and detailed wiki entry on him. Oops 😉 Welcome to the pub. May I get you a drink and/or some snacks?
Hahaha! You know I tease…
Gonna need something stronger if I’m to attempt this one!
Pick your poison!
Well… It is now 4 pm so I’ll go for a negroni 😉
OK I had to go to google bartender and learned that a negroni is: “an Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel.” Sounds utterly delicious. After I finish my hot chocolate with Tia Maria & Cream, I may just join you for one. Served in a tall glass, Cheers!
It is delicious! Mind you, with the warmer weather my cocktail will be changing to an Aperol (or Campari) spritz! But do please join me (rocks glass, please!)
it’s my favourite tipple 😊
You have grand taste!
Cheers Dale 🥂
Great line! Thanks for the prompt, Li.
Welcome, Sarah! Glad you like the line and my pleasure on hosting today/tonight. Could I get you a drink or a snack?
Lisa, thanks very much for the mention and link over to The Well. Simic is certainly one of my favourites, so looking forward to writing to the lines you provided. I’ll have the best local craft beer you’ve on tap. Thanks!
Welcome, Chris, and you’re welcome on the mention. I couldn’t hardly not since your poem was the spark that got the prompt going. Looking forward to see what you write to the lines. One local brewery here is Unruly Brewing. Looking at their list I chose for you Tirim Dry Irish Stout, described as, “a dry stout with a clean finish.” Cheers!
Sounds delicious. Cheers!
Gillena Cox said:
Ice cold beers from the magical icebox? Its hot here in T&T.
Happy Monday everyone
Welcome, Gillena! I am pouring you a pint of ice cold beer in a frosted glass and there’s more where that came from. Happy Monday and Cheers!
Thank you for hosting, Lisa, and for the introduction to Simic.
Welcome, Merril. My pleasure on hosting and happy to introduce you to Simic 🙂
Rob Kistner said:
Thank you Lisa a fun prompt. It took to the Canadian wilderness in my youth. 🇨🇦🎣🙂✌🏼🕊🏼❤️
Welcome, Rob! Happy you enjoyed the prompt and I like what you wrote about with you and your dad 🙂
Great one Lisa 🙌
Welcome, AJ, and thank you ❤
M Jay Dixit said:
Hi, Lisa. Thanks for hosting! I enjoyed writing for the prompt.
Welcome, Jay! My pleasure on hosting. Glad you enjoyed writing for the prompt. May I get you a drink or a snack?
M Jay Dixit said:
I’ll have a Cold Coffee please. 🙂
One Cold Coffee in an iced mug coming right up. Cheers!
Hi Lisa, I’m very late to the game but felt inspired! This is my first Prosery and it was fun. 🙂
Bodhi Rose, welcome! I’m glad you were inspired to write your first Prosery and had fun doing it. May I get you a drink and/or a snack?
Hi Lisa, thanks for the warm welcome! I missed your offer of a drink and snack last night but if you’re still serving, an iced coffee with cream and sugar sounds very refreshing and maybe I’ll munch on a pretzel or two!
Bodhi, I’m happy to set you up with an iced coffee with cream and sugar in a tall glass, along with a bowl of pretzels. Cheers 🙂
And interesting and challenging prompt, Lisa. Thank you for hosting. A tall ice cold apple cider for me!
Welcome, Dwight 🙂 My pleasure on hosting, and one tall ice cold apple cider for you. Cheers, my friend!
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Hello, I am on a little break. A lot of things happen this week at home with guests living with us. Next week I will be back I hope.
Welcome, Bjorn. I wondered where you were! Real life has a sometimes annoying habit of demanding our attention. I was just out pulling weeds in the strawberry patch in the cast iron tub and was amazed at how many weeds had gotten hold from the end of fall until now. Guests living with you? Now if that isn’t a point of curiosity I don’t know what is. I hope you are back next week. Please know you are in my thoughts.
Late for the prompt, but thank you for this; I have been looking for ways to commemorate Mr. Charles’s passing myself and am enjoying reading what everyone contributed.
Welcome, Oloriel, and happy to help.
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What a wonderful book Pinkola-Estes has gifted us with, a great Jungian analyst too. And then there’s the marvelous Charles Simic, stimulating stuff Lisa. Thank you for the feast. I’d like a whiskey please, a double.
Welcome, Paul. Yes, she has, and is, and so much more. Agreed on Simic who I *must* learn more about through his writing. You are very welcome. Setting up two whiskeys, a single for me and a double for you (still have gardening to do later.) Cheers, my friend!
I hope the gardening went well, it is one of my fave occupations.
It’s a process as you know 🙂 I could use your help hauling dirt right now lol
Ha, I’m right in the middle of some late autumn dirt manoeuvres myself 🙂
Thank you so much for this inspiring prompt 🙏😊
Welcome, Lesley, and my pleasure on the prompt. You spun it well!
Thank you for having me🙏