Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Similes" by Charles Reznikoff


Indifferent as a statue
to the slogan
scribbled on its pedestal.

The way an express train
snubs the passengers at a local station.

Like a notebook forgotten on a seat in the bus,
full of names, addresses and telephone numbers:
important no doubt, to the owner —
but of no interest whatever
to anyone else

Words like drops of water on a stove —
a hiss and gone.

Source of the text - Charles Reznikoff, The Poems of Charles Reznikoff, 1918-1975, edited by Seamus Cooney. Boston: Black Sparrow Books, David R. Godine, 2005, p. 261.

TJB: Do these 4 similes, 3 of which lack subjects, modify the same thing [poetry?], something indifferent-arrogant, not for everyone, ephemeral?

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