April is National Poetry Month, and since we’re all about the words around here, each Wednesday Wisdom will be a celebration of poetry, the forgotten art. Our first poem is by Charles Simic, one of my favorite poets ever, a Serbian-American who writes shadowy, honest verses like “Dear Friedrich, the world’s still false, cruel and beautiful” and who wrote the poem below.
The truth is dark under your eyelids.
What are you going to do about it?
The birds are silent; there’s no one to ask.
All day long you’ll squint at the gray sky.
When the wind blows you’ll shiver like straw.
A meek little lamb you grew your wool
Till they came after you with huge shears.
Flies hovered over open mouth,
Then they, too, flew off like the leaves,
The bare branches reached after them in vain.
Winter coming. Like the last heroic soldier
Of a defeated army, you’ll stay at your post,
Head bared to the first snow flake.
Till a neighbor comes to yell at you,
You’re crazier than the weather, Charlie.
– Charles Simic