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A Ballad for Metka Krašovec
Tomaž Šalamun was one of the most influential and prolific poets in Central Europe over the past few decades. Thanks to the translation of his work, he also received wide international acclaim. A number of volumes of his poetry have been published in English, yet A Ballad for Metka Krašovec, originally published in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1981 at the mid-point of Šalamun’s ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published February 25th 2015 by Twisted Spoon Press
(first published 1981)
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The opening poems are fragments with disparate images and ideas, gradually becoming more intimate, concrete and accessible. I think it is likely that much of the magic of Tomaz Salamun is lost in the English translation but regardless I found quite a few stunners in this collection.
& thank you Henry
& thank you Henry
Like Dostoevsky, for whom consciousness was disease and salvation, Salamun celebrates art as both punishment and transcendence. Poetic vision assaults whoever would escape vital living . . . Imagining Salamun's wives and lovers, male and female, Ballad conflates and celebrates unrestricted art and love.
What I liked was his juxtaposition of lyric and narrative poetry, that he didn't get caught in that either/or and took the liberty to do both. And the surprise of his lyrics, how they reminded me of Neruda's book of questions, busting up logic, opening that door. I was struck by the ego in the book, by his harems and the idea of poetic license, not in poetry but in life. As if being a poet means you are only accountable to exposing yourself to experience and following your impulses at the expens ...more
i picked up a signed copy in ljubljana, and since a lot of these poems are surprisngly personal for tomaz, it adds another layer of seed. Reading his work helps me write. Just coming across individual words that he chooses can send me off on one hour exercises; it's like he drops plumblines for other writers.
The poems are quite raw, but still accessible. These are poems describing the powerful moments of daily life that many, if they are actually awake to their own feelings, have felt. I loved the honesty of the poems. A delight to sit, read, and meditate on these poems. Really great work.
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...