Further Adventures of Charles Simic
By Charles Simic
Is our Charles Simic afraid of death?
Yes, Charles Simic is afraid of death.
Does he kneel and pray for eternal life?
No, he's busy drawing a valentine with a crayon.
Pale as a freshly chopped onion,
He goes over the wrongs he committed.
His conscience, does it bother him much?
Only when he lies down to get a night's rest.
The hellfires, does he feel them closing in?
No, but he hears the hounds barking.
Does he lift his eyes humbly in forgiveness?
Her love was his judge, her wrath the jury.
Some dark night, praying to the Lord above,
His own tongue will slash his throat.
Another from Poet's Choice in Sunday's Washington Post Book World on newly appointed Poet Laureate Charles Simic, who, Robert Pinsky writes, "brings honor to the title." This early Simic poem, adds Pinsky, is "candid and...tells its truth by avoiding -- even mocking -- formulaic habits of mind. The shock and comedy of the last phrase -- can it be called 'an image'? -- are unsettling, and compliment a reader's intelligence."
Before we found out that we were invited to the beach with my parents -- back when we still thought we were going up to my sister's last weekend -- we bought tickets with both parents and in-laws to go to the Red Sox/Orioles game this weekend, suspecting that it might be important in determining who made the playoffs. We were right, though sadly not the way we hoped...the Orioles aren't remotely in the running, but the Yankees are catching up to the Sox, and in Baltimore many people would rather root against the home team than see the Yankees in the top spot. Thus we were at an Orioles game where more than half the crowd was rooting for the away team, and there were tons of red caps (plus green caps, as Irish pride Red Sox paraphernalia seems to be all the rage in Boston) on top of all the orange.
As it happened, it was a very good game: the Sox led early, but the O's played well late in the game, came back and tied it, and then had a terrific tenth inning against a hapless Boston pitcher to win on a three-run home run. The crowd was very into the entire game, though there were competing groups chanting "Let's Go Orioles" and "Let's Go Red Sox" and all the other usual slogans. We had barbecue turkey sandwiches for lunch, expecting that we would all go out to dinner after the game, but since it ran late, Harborplace was crowded (Gazela, whose masts we saw briefly on the way to the stadium, had sailed by the time we got there) and my in-laws ended up taking the kids to the food court while we drove back with my parents, who wanted to go out for a Real Dinner though we opted not to join them. The kids are camping with my in-laws for the next two days, so I can hopefully catch up on stuff!
It was a bright, sunny, extremely warm (90+ degree) day in Baltimore.
As you can see, there were as many red jerseys and caps as orange jerseys and caps.
Before the game, the team replayed some of the highlights of Cal Ripken's induction into the Hall of Fame a few weekends ago.
Annual stadium-in-sunglasses photo. I love this view.
Last moments of the game, as the runners came around the bases following the concluding home run, with the team already rushing onto the field.
And the scoreboard at the end. As a longtime Orioles fan, this cheered me, but since the Yankees had already won, it was cause for some concern, too.