‘Something Evil Is Out There’
A Poem by Charles Simic

From the New Collection Come Closer and Listen

July 11, 2019  By Charles Simic

Something Evil Is Out There

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That’s what the leaves are telling us tonight.
Hear them panic and then fall silent,
And though we strain our ears we hear nothing—
Which is even more terrifying than something.

Minutes seem to pass or whole lifetimes,
While we wait for it to show itself
This very moment, or surely the next?
As the trees rush to make us believe

Their branches knocking on the house
To be let in and then hesitating.
All those leaves falling quiet in unison
As if not wishing to add to our fear,

With something evil lurking out there
And drawing closer and closer to us.
The house dark and quiet as a mouse
If one had the nerve to stick around.

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From Come Closer and Listen, by Charles Simic, courtesy Ecco. Copyright 2019, Charles Simic.

Charles Simic
Charles Simic
Charles Simic was born in former Yugoslavia in 1938. During World War II, when he was fifteen, he emigrated with his family from war-torn Belgrade to Paris and then to New York City. He is one of the most regarded—and prolific—writers of poetry, essays, and translations living today. A former US poet laureate and co-poetry editor of The Paris Review, his work has won numerous awards, including the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the MacArthur Genius Grant. He has also worked as an editorial assistant for the photography magazine Aperture. Simic received the Frost Medal for “Lifetime Achievement in Poetry” and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1995, receiving the Academy Fellowship in 1998. Simic is professor emeritus of creative writing and literature at the University of New Hampshire, where he has taught since 1973.

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