To find clues where there are none,
That’s my job now, I said to the
Dictionary on my desk. The world beyond
My window has grown illegible,
And so has the clock on the wall.
I may strike a match to orient myself

In the meantime, there’s the heart
Stopping hush as the building
Empties, the elevators stop running,
The grains of dust stay put.
Hours of quiescent sleuthing
Before the Madonna with the mop

Shuffles down the long corridor
Trying doorknobs, turning mine.
That’s just little old me sweating
In the customer’s chair, I’ll say.
Keep your nose out of it.
I’m not closing up till he breaks.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Charles Simic's poem Private Eye

1 Comment

  1. ben harroll says:

    As a nearly 30 year Private Eye who has been fortunate to have created the P.I. Museum at the start of my professional life as a Gumshoe, Sleuth, Peeper, Spy, Private Dick, Shamus, or simply Detective… I was indeed pleased to come across the poem “Private Eye”. My own frequent talks about P.I.’s can now include a respectful mention of it along with other entertaining and educational tidbits about the very broad landscape of what is likely the favorite heroic figure of the archetype hero the old and new world calls by the poem’s title “Private Eye”.

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