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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  7 reviews

Poetry. Second Edition. POKER is Tomaz Salamun's first book of poetry, originally published in 1966 in Slovenia. This edition, vibrantly translated by award-winning poet Joshua Beckman in collaboration with the author, makes POKER available in its entirety in English. Poker was a finalist for the PEN American prize for poetry in translation. " ...the poetry of Tomaz Salamu

Paperback, 74 pages
Published April 21st 2004 by Ugly Duckling Presse (first published 1966)
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I don't like reviewing poetry. I don't know why I like some poetry and not other. I know that if I 'get it' and if I don't find what I 'get' to be trite or sounding like it comes from an angry fifteen year old's notebook then I am tempted to like it. Poker appealed to me because it's a pretty book, very nicely designed and the book is even nice to touch. I read part of it in the elevator brining it up from the basement at work and liked what I read, so I bought it. About half of the book I can f ...more
Ben G
OK, never having read Salamun is a scholarly oversight on my part. I started with his first collection, and it's a bit like reading Hart Crane - you see the early days of modernism, but devoid of context (in this case, both time and country), it's easy to feel like you're not getting everything you should. Still, you feel the currents - the jab of repetition and the cross of aphorism. Requires further research on my part.
Simultaneously more straightforward and looser than much of his later work (seems reasonable for a first book by a 22-year old experimentalist), i enjoyed it quite a bit. I admit that reading his stuff of late has gone a long way toward loosening words from out my own head. Strange the disconnect (at least for me) between the work you think you should be writing and the work you need to be writing.
Paul Killebrew
I'm reading this (especially the section called "Little Mushrooms") alongside Isaiah Berlin's concept of the ascetic, which he brings up in Two Concepts of Liberty and Roots of Romanticism--the person who, in order to escape the pain of want, teaches herself not to want. "The rule does not oppress me if I impose it on myself."
Donald Armfield
Wasn't planning on reading this in one sitting but couldn't put it down. The only thing I did not like was the repeating lines.

Weird and enjoyable!
Jeffrey Cyphers Wright
Astonishing... a level of freedom (hidden within ad hoc structures) that is exilhirating at times and confounding at others. Only from Eastern Europe!
Good stuff from a great man.
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about how to cheat at poker 1 1 Jan 26, 2015 10:21PM  
Tomaž Šalamun was a Slovenian poet, who has had books translated into most of the European languages. He lived in Ljubljana and occasionally teaches in the USA. His recent books in English are The Book for My Brother, Row, and Woods and Chalices.
More about Tomaž Šalamun...
Four Questions of Melancholy: New and Selected Poems The Book for My Brother Woods and Chalices A Ballad for Metka Krašovec Feast

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