The book of essays by Charles Simic that I'm currently carrying in my bag, reading in stolen moments over lunch, is deeply slashed with harsh lines, exclamation marks, asterisks, and other graffiti. It has been a while since I have so recklessly and joyously defaced a book. If I were sitting across from Simic over coffee, the air would be punctuated with wild gesticulations, laughter, deep furrowed brows, and long moments of silence.
It's that good.
My hunch has always been that our deepest experiences are wordless ... The labor of poetry is finding ways through language to point to what cannot be put into words ... Metaphor is a part of the not-knowing aspect of art, and yet I’m firmly convinced that it is the supreme way of searching for truth. How can this be? I don’t know. I have never been able to figure it out to my satisfaction ... Poetry attracts me because it makes trouble for thinkers.
- Charles Simic, The Life of Images