Clear Vision: Zachariah Wells on Goran Simic's From Sarajevo, with Sorrow

Deceptively simple: the shopworn phrase of the blurbing alchemist who would gild a leaden text with an effortless attribution of hidden complexity. Deceptive simplicity is often attempted and often diagnosed but rarely achieved. The world has many more Rod McKuens than Robert Frosts. Deceptively simple is deceptively hard. So when Goran Simić announces that he “would like to write poems which resemble newspaper reports,” the connoisseur of poetry is apt to balk. Why ever would anyone want that? Should not the rich, deliberate language of poetry oppose the rushed, plain, fact-obsessed prose of journalism? Isn’t this asking of poetry something that it cannot and should not be made to do?