82. Tightrope

Inspired in equal parts by Russian futurists, French surrealists, and New York School poets, as Colm Tóibín noted, Tomaž was nevertheless too slippery to be compared to anything. His poems will continue to defy categorization, but they will be remembered for the way they walked the tightrope between ecstasy and despair, the rational and the irrational, the sublime and the horrible. At his finest, Tomaž could even achieve this in less than twenty-five words:


It rained during the night.
Did the snails sleep or paddle?
The pine tree strained itself and grew for a millimeter
and there, far away, Lebanon was bombed.

/ André Naffis-Sahely, The Paris Review

A marathon reading of texts and poems in honor of Tomaž Šalamun will be held at the Mini Teater in Ljubljana on February 3. The event will be broadcast on RTV Slovenija and globally via Skype.

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