poet Charles Simic

Charles Simic

Clouds Gathering

It seemed the kind of life we wanted.
Wild strawberries and cream in the morning.
Sunlight in every room.
The two of us walking by the sea naked.

Some evenings, however, we found ourselves
Unsure of what comes next.
Like tragic actors in a theater on fire,
With birds circling over our heads,
The dark pines strangely still,
Each rock we stepped on bloodied by the sunset.

We were back on our terrace sipping wine.
Why always this hint of an unhappy ending?
Clouds of almost human appearance
Gathering on the horizon, but the rest lovely
With the air so mild and the sea untroubled.

The night suddenly upon us, a starless night.
You lighting a candle, carrying it naked
Into our bedroom and blowing it out quickly.
The dark pines and grasses strangely still.

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about Clouds Gathering by Charles Simic

  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (1/7/2016 5:12:00 PM)

    Extremely powerful in its gentle flow that grows gradually troubled like a stream suddenly rippling over pebbles and then rocks and then boulders come in view. Oh, I am now a Charles Simic fan with this poem!

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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (1/7/2016 6:53:00 AM)

    A slow flow of emotions in a cozy soliloquy. Enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Adnana Karahasanovic Zeljkovic (5/26/2010 4:24:00 AM)

    It is this presentiment that gives the poem perfect balance. Without it, our happy moments would lack their deeper sense.

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  • Lucy Simpson (1/4/2008 12:13:00 PM)

    third stanza is a clunker too. I would omit it, if I could.


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  • Lucy Simpson (1/4/2008 12:12:00 PM)

    I think the poem falters in the second stanza. The first stanza is perfect. The first line of the 2nd stanza is perhaps clunky. I think a metaphor is needed here and not a simile. The last line is striking. The poem isn't perfect in my estimation and I like many of Simic's poems.


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  • Walter Durk (9/27/2007 10:47:00 AM)

    I don't read the New Yorker, but this poem does not impact me in any way. I think it is average at best.

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  • Roberta Star (8/3/2007 9:03:00 AM)

    a new yorkerish poem

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Read poems about / on: sunset, sea, dark, fire, night, life