A Wedding in Hell
Publisher: Mariner Books
“Provocative . . . a tantalizing, beautiful fusion of visions” from the Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate (Bloomsbury Review).
Four paper dolls hold hands like a family. They are cut from a morning newspaper that runs an ad for “heavenly” coffee next to a picture from a war zone. On television, refugees are crowding a road, while on the pay-per-view channel lovers are trading hungry kisses and tearing off each other’s clothes. In his new volume of poems, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic juxtaposes the joys of the everyday—the unabashed pleasure of sex, the beauty of nature—against a haunting landscape of shattered windows, soldiers on the march, stray dogs, homeless men, and a God still making up His mind.
“Simic is a poet of quiet angst and profound skepticism. His poems reflect this in their brevity and spareness . . . These poems are hard-edged and unsettling, but as you acclimate yourself to Simic’s grim outlook, images of startling intensity and intelligence leap from the page like heat lightning on an oppressive night, and you nod in respectful recognition.” —Booklist
“The pressure evident here is often alleviated by humor and consummate irony. In this 12th collection, the poet again manages to live up to his well-deserved reputation.” —Library Journal
“The knack of Simic’s poetry is to have found a voice to reflect on such matters without sounding solemn or maudlin—a plainspoken, slightly wary voice that wins our confidence by its apparent modesty and our gratitude by its power to surprise, accommodating cynicism and injured outcries.” —Publishers Weekly