Maintenant #93 – Charles Simic

What more can be asked of a poet than that they maintain their own sense of integrity towards what they deem poetic? It follows then if the poet who does maintain a writing life of such commitment is a thinker of originality and insight, and that they maintain this commitment across a lifetime, then their work will have a life far beyond them. All the more if they do so with an affability that belies their skill, and a determination that proves them to be enduring. For a lifetime of writing, Charles Simic has been one of world’s most engaging and singular poets. He has exerted such an influence over so many and for so long, he has almost come to define an era. His voice is sure, utterly recognisable, both profound and humble, both grounded and flighted, both incisive and witty and he has straddled labels and definitions, as he has the continents of North America and Europe. Never has his own work been occluded by his translations but his lifetime of service to European poetry has fundamentally shaped the perception of Serbian, and Balkan, poetry in the English speaking world at large. He is an immense presence in US poetry and inarguably one of the most important poets of the late 20th century. For edition 93 of the Maintenant series, Charles Simic.

To accompany the interview is a poem, never before published, ‘Ghost Cinema’


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