Charles Simic

(1938 / Belgrade)

Heights Of Folly - Poem by Charles Simic

O crows circling over my head and cawing!
I admit to being, at times,
Suddenly, and without the slightest warning,
Exceedingly happy.

On a morning otherwise sunless,
Strolling arm in arm
Past some gallows-shaped trees
With my dear Helen,
Who is also a strange bird,

With a feeling of being summoned
Urgently, but by a most gracious invitation
To breakfast on slices of watermelon
In the company of naked gods and goddesses
On a patch of last night's snow.


Comments about Heights Of Folly by Charles Simic

  • (3/19/2018 8:31:00 PM)


    Being Serbian like Simic I think this poem captures perfectly the collective subconscious of the Serbs. Happiness is foolish, temporary, almost rude (that’s why “I admit”) and can be shattered any minute (many wars in our history) . Gallows are always there but if you are summoned to a delicious breakfast with naked gods and goddesses – enjoy, for it won’t last, we all sit on last night’s snow. (Report) Reply

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  • (5/26/2010 5:04:00 AM)


    Well expressed appreciation of happiness. Almost apologetic. As if afraid of being 'exceedingly happy'. And the surrealistic image of breakfast with gods and goddesses - little lower than the angels... Do we deserve it? Well rounded up poem. (Report) Reply

  • (9/27/2009 5:06:00 PM)


    Through antique panes of glass on three sides,
    I see verdant foilage, gently coloring;
    and, I feel myself fully surrounded,
    Suddenly, I am very happy.
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/14/2009 3:59:00 AM)


    In eighteen and sixty two,
    Sarah and Isaac asked the President to free the slaves.
    In nineteen and fifty eight;
    Ruthie and Roy Joe asked the President to ban the bomb.
    In twenty and nine, their Grandson Brian,
    Made a statue, reminiscent of these procreative deeds;
    And the three, were very happy!
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/13/2009 4:49:00 PM)


    I saw a hawk rise in the sky
    ; and suddenly. I was very happy!
    I believe God spoke to me;
    and gave me a feeling of well bveing.
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/26/2007 9:29:00 PM)


    Not sure I comprehend the last paragraph....help (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: warning, snow, happy, night, tree



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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