Today, Charles Simic’s death was announced. Here’s a wonderful memory of Simic by an old friend, Damon Krukowski. I share this with you now as a eulogy for a poet I admired and enjoyed deeply.

Rest in peace, and poetry, Charles.


Charon’s Cosmology

With only his dim lantern
To tell him where he is
And every time a mountain
Of fresh corpses to load up
Take them to the other side
Where there are plenty more
I’d say by now he must be confused
As to which side is which
I’d say it doesn’t matter
No one complains he’s got
Their pockets to go through
In one a crust of bread in another a sausage
Once in a long while a mirror
Or a book which he throws
Overboard into the dark river

Swift and cold and deep

Charles Simic, “Charon’s Cosmology” from Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Charles Simic. Reprinted with the permission of George Braziller, Inc.


Source: Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems (George Braziller Inc., 1999)