Charles Simic

(1938 / Belgrade)

The White Room - Poem by Charles Simic

The obvious is difficult
To prove. Many prefer
The hidden. I did, too.
I listened to the trees.

They had a secret
Which they were about to
Make known to me--
And then didn't.

Summer came. Each tree
On my street had its own
Scheherazade. My nights
Were a part of their wild

Storytelling. We were
Entering dark houses,
Always more dark houses,
Hushed and abandoned.

There was someone with eyes closed
On the upper floors.
The fear of it, and the wonder,
Kept me sleepless.

The truth is bald and cold,
Said the woman
Who always wore white.
She didn't leave her room.

The sun pointed to one or two
Things that had survived
The long night intact.
The simplest things,

Difficult in their obviousness.
They made no noise.
It was the kind of day
People described as "perfect."

Gods disguising themselves
As black hairpins, a hand-mirror,
A comb with a tooth missing?
No! That wasn't it.

Just things as they are,
Unblinking, lying mute
In that bright light--
And the trees waiting for the night.


Comments about The White Room by Charles Simic

  • (8/4/2008 7:02:00 AM)


    'Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself' - Wallace Stevens (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: mirror, dark, woman, summer, tree, truth, fear, people, night, sun, light, house, women



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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