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The Book of Things

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews

Winner of The 2011 Best Translated Book of the Year Award
Winner of The 2011 Award for Best Literary Translation into English from the AATSEL

From his first book of poems, Chessboards of Hours (1995), Aleš Šteger has been one of Slovenia's most promising poets. The philosophical and lyrical sophistication of his poems, along with his work as a leading book editor and festiva
Paperback, 92 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by BOA Editions Ltd. (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Challenging poems. Some I liked very much: Potato, Wall, Cat, Earring. Most were too abstruse for my taste.
Jan 05, 2008 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am translating this book (which originally appeared in Slovenian) into English. It's a blast. Each poem is like a little puzzle, or a locked box with multiple keyholes. The language is simultaneously clear and mysterious, and always turning in on itself. The poems remind me a little of Vasko Popa, and of Ponge, but Steger definitely has his own vector here.
Look for my review in the Winter 2012 Sycamore Review.
Bonnie G.
Feb 21, 2011 Bonnie G. rated it it was ok
Shelves: aahhhrrrt
I thought I liked poetry. But maybe I don't.
Jan 27, 2012 Marike added it
Shelves: poetry
The book of things: Poems by Ales Steger; translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry

I was amazed by these poems: going through a sense of an object to a meditation or consideration of something that touch me in a different experience. It seems to call up something concrete and dreamlike at the same time. Feel new and remembered at the same time.
Let me quote one of the poems early in the book:


No one hears what the stone keeps to himself.
Insignificant, it is only his, like pain,
Caught betw
Apr 08, 2011 Nancy rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Love the idea, the pacing, the structure -- and a nice handful of phrases.
"a castrated transvestite in fur" (that's a cat); "Students of belly dancing" (sea horse); "Like two serfs in black rubber boots. / They get up to go immediately back to bed." (windshield wipers); and, "Who can digest so much affection / And not bark? Vau vau! She is probably Korean" (Cocker Spaniel). (Korean? I don't get it.)
Best (least gross?) are his animals, though Steger does justice to the animal in us (as in the ni
Jul 08, 2011 Leanna rated it really liked it
Many moving lines, many stunning images. Reminded me of Vasko Popa, except more contemporary (naturally) and with a broader palette and zanier sense of humor. Who else writes these "catalogue" poems? i.e. poems that circle around the titular subject (cat, dog, soap, etc.)? Steger, Popa, Ponge...since it's something I do, it would be good for me to read poets who do it!
Juli Anna
Feb 24, 2015 Juli Anna rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Steger is a very proficient poet, but I found this book somewhat lackluster. Each poem is a mediation on a particular everyday object ("Egg," "Bed," etc.), but the poems are wandering and esoteric, rather than as bitingly concrete as I would like them to be.
Jordan rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2012
Adam P.
Jul 12, 2011 Adam P. rated it really liked it
longer review to be coming soon
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Jul 19, 2010 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
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