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A Wedding in Hell: Poems Paperback – 30 Nov 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Thomson Learning; 1 edition (30 Nov. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156001292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156001298
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,884,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By x-bout reviews on 8 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
'A Wedding in Hell' is one of my favourite collections by Simic for many reasons: one is that it is packed full of great poems,72 poems in an 80-page book, another (the clue is in the first reason) is that I love short poems that have a lot to say, but the overriding reason is the reason I love Simic's work in the first place - exquisite wordplay and a refreshingly unique view of the world. To my mind, all these reasons are amply demonstrated in the deceptively simple opening line of 'Paradise Motel': "Millions were dead; everybody was innocent."

Of course, Simic is great fun as well, and poems like 'Evening Visitor,' 'Heroic Moment,' 'The Secret' (there are two poems with that title; I'm referring to the first) - and 'Crazy About Her Shrimp' in which he notes "While I chop the hot peppers,/ She wiggles her ass/ And stirs the shrimp on the stove." - amply demonstrate that. They also display his attention to detail and the beauty of his juxtaposition of words and precise line breaks. There is nothing accidental about his placement of hot peppers and shrimp in the 'Shrimp' poem, neither is it random that in 'Imported Novelties' the penultimate line in the third stanza is broken after the word "gasoline" to read "...doused with gasoline/ In the moment before the match is lit,". Naturally, these things are expected of a good poet, but there are many good poets who do these things well but fail to move me. A good number of those good poets have been Poet Laureates in both the UK and US, but they haven't made me want to (as Simic instructs Mr. Ant in his Great Expectations-derived poem from this collection, 'This Morning') "Listen to her begin to fall,/ As if with eyes closed,/ Muting each drop in her wild-beating heart." I think the distinction makes Simic a great poet.

Buy this collection, read it enough times to inhabit its nuances - and keep it so you can repeatedly enjoy the pleasures of reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
His Best 4 April 2005
By m woodman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Of all Simic's books, this is the strongest. All his themes are here: the search for meaning, religious iconography, and his use of ironic contrasting images. This is the book that should have won the Pulitzer (nothing against his "The World Doesn't End"). Imagine a cross between Blake, Neruda, and Issa, and you'll have a good idea of the places this book will take you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful. 31 Mar. 2004
By Robert Beveridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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 yesterday and the paper got smudged. Since I can't read my own writing, just imagine "Prayer" is inserted here.)
Lovely, on a par with Simic's beat work. Highly recommended. ****
Considering Charles Simic 13 Mar. 2001
By Starr Sackstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After reading many of Charles Simic's works, I have to say that this book of poems was an easy and inspiring read. I find that reading his work lightens me up even if the content is at times dark. Simic seems to be writing through his darkness in this work and searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. He often uses humor in his darkness as well as obsurdity to reflect on the reality. It's a quick read and they are the kind of poems that you can read over and over again and always learn a deeper insight from them. He is an easy poet to relate to and definitely worth reading.
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