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<DIV><DIV><P>In his eighteenth collection, Charles Simic, the superb poet of the vaguely ominous sound and the disturbing, potentially significant image, moves closer to the dark heart of history and human behavior. </P><P>Simic understands the strange interplay between ordinary life and extremes, between reality and imagination, and he writes with absolute purity about those contradictory but simultaneous states of being or feeling: "Everything about you / My life, is both / Make-believe and real." </P><P>A profoundly important poet for our time, and a stunning book. </P><P>SECRET HISTORY</P><P>Of the light in my room:</P><P>Its mood swings,</P><P>Dark-morning glooms,</P><P>Summer ecstasies.</P><P> </P><P>Spider on the wall,</P><P>Lamp burning late,</P><P>Shoes left by the bed,</P><P>I'm your humble scribe.</P><P> </P><P>Dust balls, simple souls</P><P>Conferring in the corner.</P><P>The pearl earring she lost,</P><P>Still to be found.</P><P> </P><P>Silence of falling snow,</P><P>Night vanishing without trace,</P><P>Only to return.</P><P>I'm your humble scribe.</P></DIV></DIV>