In his poem, Prodigy, Charles Simic, the poet writes about his being taught how to play chess by a retired professor of astronomy. The poem actually reflects on how the teaching of the game influenced him and his life. As is shown in the poem, the white king was missing, reflecting that possibly something in life of the young man or the professor was missing, yet he and the professor continued to play chess. The game is made more interesting as in the poem Simic remembers his mother and the professor blindfolding him. The most important is the last stanza, which tells what the professor told him about how the masters play. According to the poem masters also play blindfolded and to several boards at the same time. The poem is as complex as the game, and equally thought provoking.
The poem is reflection of how a person’s life is changed minute-to-minute and second to second. It also shows how influences tend to linger in the child’s mind and are so poignant that even as an adult a person is unable to forget them the reference to men hung on Phone poles is one such example from the poem.
The poem shows that in order to be successful winner in life, one has to rely solely on instincts. One has to trust ones judgment in matters which are confusing and in which several opinions about the same issue exist. It is therefore the development of instinct, which is important in the winning of the game of life.