Charles Simic

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What is the meaning of Charles Simic's poem "Fork"?

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Two points to consider before we turn to your fine question. First, often a poem does not have a single answer, but is subject to interpretation. Second, consider the possibility that the poem's affect on you is its meaning. In this case, the strangeness and imagery of "Fork" would be its meaning.

 
And in fact, I'm going to argue that this is a large part of the meaning. In "Fork" Simic takes a close look at, well, forks, and forces us to do so. Look at a fork. It looks like a bizarre little pitchfork or, as Simic says, "a bird's foot." Do you really want to put that in your food? Your mouth? He makes the common world strange, and makes us like kids or aliens, seeing things for the first time.

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What type of poetry is "Fork" by Charles Simic?

Charles Simic is a contemporary poet, born in 1938 and still working today. He is not easily categorized—his work is often described as "surreal," but he cannot be easily compared to or grouped with other poets. At the same time, his style is very consistent, particularly his tendency to write about inanimate objects in a confronting and interesting way. His poetic output is instantly recognizable. Each of his poems shares features with his others.

In the most basic terms, this poem, "Fork," is an example of modern free verse. Free verse means that the poem eschews not only a rhyme scheme, one of the most basic features often found in traditional poetry, but also a consistent meter. There is a pleasing meter to the poem when read aloud, but it doesn't conform to any standard form, such as iambic pentameter.

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What type of poetry is "Fork" by Charles Simic?

Charles Simic is a surrealist poet which means his poetry can seem extreme or unreal. He was know for writing poems about objects, like a fork.

It is definitely not a sonnet because sonnets have 14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter.  This poem is a free-verse poem. We know this because it has no set rhythm or rhyme scheme. Free-verse was made possible because of the poetry of Walt Whitman. 

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