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A Wedding in Hell

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Simic puts chirping birds, sex, and happiness into a world of broken windows, shivering trees, soldiers, lone dogs, the homeless of the city, and a God still making up his mind. “Provocative...a tantalizing, beautiful fusion of visions” (Bloomsbury Review).
Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 30th 1994 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1994)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Bill Kerwin
May 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry

Charles Simic now writes in English and lives in New Hampshire, but he was born in Belgrade, three years before the United States entered the Second World War. He has said that "being one of the millions of displaced persons made an impression on me," and that “I'm still amazed by all the vileness and stupidity I witnessed…" Whatever he witnessed, the emotional quality of his poems are never far from the shattering of windows, a single man running, and boots thudding menacingly against the
...more
Peycho Kanev
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Simic is one of the best, and in A Wedding in Hell he's in top form. "Lyric poets perpetuate the oldest values on earth," he reminds us. "They assert the individual's experience against that of the tribe." Simic chooses very deep specific topics, he is incredible at really focusing a poem on something small whether it be an event or an object, and then he condenses his poem into so few words that each word has a powerful punch and the poem collectively has a strong meaning. And never has he been ...more
Donald Armfield
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I will read every collection by this man.....But not sure what I will do when I finish the last collection.

My Favorites from this collection.

Part 1
*Dream Avenue
*Sinister Company
*Haunter Mind
*The Dead in Photographs
*Evening Visitor
*The World

Part 2
*Heroic Moment
*Explaining a Few Things
*Awaiting Judgement
*Love Flea

Part 3
*A Puppet Play
*The Story of Cercopes
*In Strange Cities
*Midnight Serenaders
*Dark TV Screen
*The Tower
*The Secret
Abraham
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, fiction


Pleasant, a little bit witty, hard to tell what he is getting at. It helps to have his Slavic voice in mind when reading. Not generally mind-blowing.
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-essays
Lovers who take pleasure
In the company of trees,
Who seek diversion after many kisses
In each other's arms,
Watching the leaves,

The way they quiver
At the slightest breath of wind,
The way they thrill,
And shudder almost individually,
One of them beginning to shake
While the others are still quiet,
Unaccountably, unreasonably --

What am I saying?
One leaf in a million more fearful,
More happy,
Than all the others?

On this oak tree casting
Such deep shade,
And my kids closing sleepily
With that one leaf
...more
Robert Beveridge
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cle-pub-lib, finished
Charles Simic, A Wedding in Hell (Harcourt Brance Jovanovich, 1994)

Simic is as good as it gets, and in A Wedding in Hell he's in top form. Simultaneously irreverent and spiritual, the bulk of the poems in this book center around themes of higher powers and how odd they are when looked at from our perspective. Simic's usual surreal wit is in play throughout, and almost every poem has an unexpected pleasure waiting for the reader at the end. (I'd jotted down quotes to put here, but it was raining
...more
Nathan Albright
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2018
The title of this book is not particularly appealing. But those who are familiar with the author's work [1] will understand that this title captures the author's familiar wrestling with matters of sexual intimacy and spirituality. The author cannot in any sense be considered a traditional Christian, but at the same time he is clearly someone who thinks and reflects often on matters of spirituality and appears to have a strong sense of divine judgment even if he does not presume to consider ...more
Corey
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not one of my favorite Simics but he is undeniably great and important.
Kelsey Williams
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Wedding In Hell by Charles Simic

Published by: Harcourt Brace & Company, Orlando Florida, 1994
Kelsey Williams


If I had to describe A Wedding In Hell by Charles Simic in one word, the word would be simplistic. He writes the most brilliant poems, with incredibly powerful messages in a very simplistic way. Simic’s style is one that I would love to try and copy, in my opinion poetry is best when it is clear and understandable, I always hate when I have to read a poem five times before I can
...more
Jessica
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
I am not going to write very much about these poems. I can not say that I "enjoyed" them. I reread them about two or three times. They are small nuggets of surreal landscapes, made more real by a few decidedly candid "keywords" lets call them. Simple images, EASY to imagine, which makes them so realistic. Either way, I liked the no-nonesense approach, I am a wordy person and it was refreshing to read poetry that convayed the same ideas in such few words. I especially enjoyed the tying together ...more
Jeremy Allan
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
You don't need to be a psychoanalyst to know that you can tell a great deal about a person by what they call their genitalia. Here is a book where the male 'speakers' often refer to their 'sex' and I believe that such a choice reveals the nature of these poems more than most other elements included. Take that as you will.

There are many nice moments in these poems, which is to say that this book will not be remembered. A Wedding in Hell is damned most by being forgettable.
Zalman
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is not my absolute favorite Simic, and in fact the first section started off a bit slow and non-resonant for me; however, things got better as I continued on. Gets 4 stars from me for the poems in the second and third sections.
SooYoung
Aug 03, 2007 rated it liked it
He's the new US Poet Laureate, thought I should you know, check him out.
Jeffrey
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Love this one.
Michael
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Simic at his best. His language is enhanced by his life experances and he is able to make the uncommon common.
Liam
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This collection improved on the previous one he won the Pulitzer for. I can see him moving to his more modern style which first attracted me.
Aaron Kent
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Street find. Not usually a poetry reader but this one was very good. I think my two favorite poems in here were: Mad Business and Dark TV Screen
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Charles Simic (born Dušan Simić) is a Serbian-American poet and the 15th Poet Laureate of the United States. He is co-Poetry Editor of the Paris Review. Simic is the 2007 recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. This $100,000 (US) prize recognizes outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.