Saturday, August 31, 2013

Analysis of "On this Very Street in Belgrade" by Charles Simic

Original poem reprinted online here: "On this Very Street in Belgrade" by Charles Simic
Originally read: April 8, 2013
More information about the Poet: Charles Simic





When I was looking up the bio information for Charles Simic, the first line I read was, "Charles Simic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in1938" and I stopped right there.  Is this poem more on the personal side?  Perhaps.  I'll read his bio after this analysis, but I want to see how it is between me and this poem.

The first note I wrote was, "strong visual and very precious simile.  Doll = Baby, burnt rags = the actual.  What present me notes is that the like could've easily been a metaphor line without the simile.  But the simile acts more of a distancing device -- through comparison the speaker gets away from the scene, and the usage of "like" or "as" focuses on the comparison and not so much the individual image.

Next note, "Time passes, not Hollywood ending.  Wait what goes through the subjects mind when meeting the dog?"  Present me focuses on the speakers action.  The speaker is talking to a homeless dog because there is no one left at the same spot.

My last note goes into symbolism and projection, "The dog being a representation of the subject's past.  Maybe a younger version of the subject."  But what past me didn't mention is that if, indeed, the dog is a representation of the speaker's past, then the focus would be on these lines, "His eyes brimming with hope / As he inched forward, ready for the worst."  A more hesitant, but hopeful figure, but note that the dog is "homeless" and I think this is a greater symbol if this is indeed a projection than hope.

The dog's hope is a compounded escape from the real (current and past self) and into another, better, and actual real (future and imagined).  The poem reads as though from memory (past tense, and similes) so, for me, the weight is so much in the past and the hopeful future is static and illusory.


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