“To Boredom” Charles Simic

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The Child of Your Rainy Sundays


When you pick up a novel you read years ago, threads of narrative fabric stand out, looking familiar to you. Not so the poetry collection. If you’ve read it once, a year ago or more, chances are it will feel new to you as you read it again. A gift, then! Further testament to the mysteries of poetry.

Yesterday I pulled Simic’s That Little Something from the shelf as a tonic after watching a little too much of the Senate hearing on Judge (for Yourself) Brett Kavanaugh. Effects were remarkable, swift, and salubrious!

Reinvigorated, I shared Simic’s ode-like piece, “To Laziness” on these pages, so today I follow san- with -guine by giving you its brother-in-arms, the equally tranquil “To Boredom.” (Ah, for the good old days, when one could afford to be bored!)


To Boredom
by Charles Simic

I’m the child of your rainy Sundays.
I watched time crawl
Over the ceiling
Like a wounded fly.

A day would last forever,
Making pellets of bread,
Waiting for a branch
On a bare tree to move.

The silence would deepen,
The sky would darken,
As Grandmother knitted
With a ball of black yarn.

Heaven is like that.
In eternity’s classrooms,
The angels sit like bored children
With their heads bowed.


As former students, I’m sure we can all relate to “eternity’s classrooms,” especially in a poem called “To Boredom.” Few classrooms, after all, were capable of escaping so swift a predator as eternity. We’ll see for ourselves some day, I assure you!

With that, my blessings: May your Saturday be rainy. Or sunny, for all I care. As long as it’s slow enough to watch time “crawl / Over the ceiling / Like a wounded fly.”