Category Archives: Stone

Charles Simic: Stone

Hiding. Safety. Depression. Mystery. The unknowable. These are the words / images that cropped up in my mind as I read this.

He begins by saying that while some people may chose to bring peace to the world or to bring war against it, his way is to hide from it all, to escape from everyone. I feel as if he is concerned with conflict – and as a Serb who grew up in (and then left) Communist Belgrade he would have seen plenty of conflict and diversity (when he came to America). Perhaps this hiding is his way of protecting himself? Being like a stone can mean closing yourself off from all people, all emotions, all danger.

I feel as if he is trying to say how he has created his own world in that stone, where his imagination lives protected from the dangers of judgment of other people. And there is the idea that if we look hard enough we can see beauty and vitality in there, but it’s faint, and quite possibly not even for us, that the possessor of the faint light does not wish to share it. And so we have to be careful with this stone.

In reading “Stone” and “The Panther” together we get a similar image of vitality being confined, either willingly or not. But the idea is that there is life and vitality that must be allowed to live, either because it is cruel to trap nature, or because it is important to be careful with someone else’s life and feelings.