My favorite poet this week is Charles Simic. Born May 9, 1938, in Belgrade, he is a Serbian-American poet and co-Poetry Editor of the Paris Review. He was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007.
After surviving the German bombing and occupation of Belgrade, he escaped Yugoslavia with his mother in 1948 into Austria and France, arriving in the United States in 1954 when he was sixteen. He grew up in Chicago and received his B.A. from New York University. He is professor emeritus of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire.
I like the way he uses his experience of the brutal history of World War II, twisted with wordplays and a comical sense of humor in his work. Not only is he a profound poet, but a thoughtful essayist on the topics of jazz, art and philosophy.
Classic Ballroom Dances
Grandmothers who ring the necks
Of chickens; old nuns
With names like Theresa, Marianne,
Who pull schoolboys by the ear;
The intricate steps of pickpockets
Working the crowd of the curious
At the scene of an accident; the slow shuffle
Of the evangelist with a sandwich board;
The hesitation of the early-morning customer
Peeking through the window grille
Of a pawnshop; the weave of a little kid
Who is walking to school with eyes closed;
And the ancient lovers, cheek to cheek,
On the dance floor of the Union Hall,
Where they also hold charity raffles
On rainy Monday nights of an eternal November.
"Words make love on the page
like flies in the summer heat
and the poet is only the bemused spectator."
info: Wikipedia, The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry