Wednesday Sep 20

Stegerpic.jpg Aleš Šteger is a Slovenian poet and editor. He was born in the town of Ptuj in Lower Styria, Slovenia, then part of Yugoslavia. He studied Comparative Literature and German at University of Ljubljana. He has published four volumes of poetry--Šahovnice ur (Chess Desks of Hours, 1995), Kašmir (Kashmir, 1997), Protuberance (Protuberances, 2002), Knjiga Reci (The Book of Things, 2005)--and an itinerary on Peru entitled Včaish je januar sredi poletja ("Sometimes, January Is in the Middle of Summer", 1999) as well as a book of essays, Berlin (2007). His books have been awarded and translated into several languages. He lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and works as an editor in the renowned publishing house Študentska založba. Among his editorial work, the most noticeable is a new revisited collection of poems by Edvard Kocbek in 2004, which includes some unpublished poems, as well as an insightful essay on Kocbek's poetic language written by Šteger himself. In 2008, Šteger won the Rožanc Award, the highest prize for essays written in Slovene language.

 

 
BrianHenry.jpg Brian Henry is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Stripping Point (Counterpath). His translation of the Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices (Harcourt) appeared in 2008, and his translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things is forthcoming from BOA Editions. A Serbian edition of Henry’s poems will appear in 2010. His sixth book, Wings Without Birds, is forthcoming from Salt Publishing.
 
 
 
 
KOKER ŠPANJEL
 
 
Kot kakšna svinja, povaljana v smrtnem krču,
Medtem ko ji rdeč pramen dlake teče iz lobanje in obliva telo.
 
Vonj pečenja jo spet vrne med žive.
Rep nervozno odšteva večnosti med goltanjem.
 
Kdo lahko prebavi toliko naklonjenosti
In ne zalaja? Vau vau! Verjetno je Korejka.
 
Vzhodnjakinja vsekakor, sodeč po njenem konceptu lastnine,
Ko ti sede na nogo, da bi prisilila dlan.
 
Še enkrat jo pobožaj in dokaži,
Da jo ljubiš bolj od vstajenja svinjskega zrezka pred sabo.
 
Da je vsa ta navlaka ljubosumja odveč.
Da je dlan, ki je bila zapuščena, ne bo nikdar zapustila.
 
                                    from Knjiga Reči (The Book of Things), 81
 
 
Cocker Spaniel
 
 
Like some swine wallowing in a deadly seizure
While her red hair flows from the skull and pours over the body.
 
The smell of barbeque returns her again to the living.
The tail nervously deducts eternities while gobbling.
 
Who can digest so much affection
And not bark? Vau vau! She is probably Korean.
 
An Easterner in any case, judging by her concept of property,
When she sits on your feet, to force a palm.
 
Pet her once more and prove that you love her
More than the resurrection of the pork chop in front of you.
 
That all this frippery of jealousy is redundant.
That the palm, which was abandoned, will never abandon her.
 
 
                                    from Knjiga Reči (The Book of Things), 81
Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry