“The Mirage.” A New Poem by Charles Simic

From His New Collection No Land in Sight

August 9, 2022  By Charles Simic

The Mirage

Like a cartoon of a man in a desert,
Fallen on his knees and dying of thirst,
Who suddenly sees ahead of him
A fresh pond and some palm trees,

Once on a train approaching Chicago,
I saw a snow-peak mountain
I knew perfectly well was not there,
And yet I kept looking, seeing even

A green meadow with sheep grazing,
When the clouds of black smoke
Swirling over the huge steel mills
Hid that lovely vision from my eyes.


no land in sight

From No Land in Sight by Charles Simic. Used with permission of the publisher, Knopf. Copyright 2022 by 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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