Poetry Depot

January 1, 2011

Tomanz Salamun: Slovene Contemporary Poetry

Filed under: Slovenia — razvan @ 4:43 pm

Tomaž Šalamun has published more than thirty books of poetry in his home country of Slovenia and is recognized as one of the leading poets of Central Europe. His honors include the Prešeren Fund Prize, the Jenko Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a visiting Fulbright to Columbia University, and a fellowship to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.” from Blackbird
“In spring 2008 he was appointed as Visiting Professor in Creative Writing and Distinguished Writer in Residence by the University of Richmond. His next teaching position in the US will be the Spring Semester 2011 at the Michener’s Center MFA in Austin, Texas. He lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.” from blueflower arts

Greece

You lived too many lives. I didn’t hear
from you, you didn’t come. I remember your visit
some ten years later, during your broken

years. I threw a bathrobe on my son
when he stepped into the room. He was already
a yachtsman and a sculler. You were

so in love with Vera we thought you’d fall
off the boat. They almost took away
our money at customs when you forgot

to report it. In Piraeus you lost everything.
Your pajamas, your sleeping bag. Vera now
barely remembers Dikan. You looked at him

as if he were a Greek god. I never told you
anything. We danced at the hotel terrace,
I wanted to leave. I knew I’d hardly see

you after graduation. In the photos
I don’t seem older than your classmates.
I’m the twice removed cousin of your mom.

Grandpas used to stop at our place on the way
to the beach at Barkovlje. I had possessed your brother
and both sisters. None was like you.

translated by Brian Henry published in Jacket Magazine

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