The Voice at 3:00 AM is a collection of poems written by Charles Simic. It was published in 2003. Charles Simic is one of the most recognized poets of modern day. He has won various awards, including the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” and was also appointed as a U.S. Poet Laureate. Though Simic moved to the U.S. from Yugoslavia when he was a teen, much of his work draws upon his life in war-torn Belgrade as well as the poverty, both physical and spiritual, in everyday life.
In scope, The Voice at 3:00 AM spans over twenty years of Simic’s work, bringing a rich and deep assortment of poetry that creates a remarkable journey. Even though Simic writes in settings that have no names and proper nouns, the world he describes is familiar yet surreal. While other writers incorporate the small details such as cell phones and specific technology and specific wars and specific people, Simic simply writes about anonymous people, both the poor and the rich, the simple and the philosophers, the men and the women. The general events and the nameless catastrophes that occur in his poetry create even more suspense but a larger degree of relatability. Examining even the smallest minutia of American culture and everyday life, Simic meditates on the spiritual concerns and the weight of history on modern day life, making the most mundane subjects interesting and revelatory.