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Poetry in Translation (CXLVII): Aleš ŠTEGER (b. 1973), SLOVENIA, “Europe”, “ Europa”

November 23rd, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Aleš Šteger, Slovenian Poet

Poetry in Translation (CXLVII): Aleš ŠTEGER (b. 1973), SLOVENIA, “Europe”, “ Europa”

Europe
Even now you peddle the story of the Turks
At the gates of Vienna, dismantling their tents only as a ruse.
And how masquerading as kebab vendors
Even now they’re only waiting for the right moment
To leap out from their kiosks and cut your throats.

No matter that your tribes are lost forever
In the marshes of your barbaric designs
And even you can’t tell the skull of a Goth from the skull
Of a Slav from the skull of an Angle from the skull of a Frank,
Still you believe only your sons’ spilt blood will rejuvenate you.

Still you think you’ll give the lie to all of us.
When I close my tired eyes, you appear
In the form of a hairy fat woman who gives birth while snoring
And of the man in the dark beside her secretly masturbating,
Thinking about America.

Translated by W. Martin and Tom Lozar

ivan GROHAR (1867-1911), Slovene Impressionist: “The Sower”

Europa
Aleš ŠTEGER (b. 1973, Slovenia)

Chiar şi acum, încă mai repeţi la infinit povestea Turcilor
La asediul Vienei, şi cum s- au prefăcut ei că se retrag, doar ca să ne înşele.
Şi iarăsi cum, încă în ziua de azi, pretind ca ar fi vânzători ambulanţi (o mascaradă!)
Doar ca să pândească momentul potrivit,
Să sară din chioşcurile lor, ca să îţi taie grumazul.

Ei, şi chiar dacă seminţia ta ar fi pierdută în vecii vecilor,
Prin mlaştina gândurilor tale barbare,
Tu nici măcar acum nu vei fi ştiut cum să desluşeşti căpăţâna unui Got
De cea a unui Slav, sau de craniul unui Hun, sau al unui Frank,
În timp ce tu te îndârjeşti să crezi ca doar sângele fiilor tăi te-ar ierta de păcate.

Şi totuşi te încăpăţânezi să ne vinzi minciuna ta.
De câte ori închid pleoapele ochilor mei obosiţi, tu reapari
Ca fantoma unei codoaşe grase si păroase, fătând în timpul somnului,
În timp ce lângă ea, culcat în întuneric, un bărbat se masturbează pe furiş,
Visând despre America.

(Rendered in Romanian
by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

Slovenia, Five cents Euro Coin with the Slovenian Sower

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Ales Steger is a poet and critic. He has published four volumes of poetry: Sahovnice ur [Chess boards of hours] (1995); Kasmir [Kashmir] (1997); Protuberance [Protuberances] (2002); Knjiga reci [Book of Things] (2005); a prose book Peru Vcasih je januar sredi poletja [January In the Middle of Summer] [1999]; and Berlin in 2007.

The latest translations of his poems by Brian Henry was published in autumn 2010 by American publisher BOA Editions in the Lannan series, in which one translation book is published a year.
Several poems of the collection appeared beforehand in magazines such as Boston Review, Times Literary Supplement and The New Yorker.
Ales Steger is the recipient of the 2012 BTBA award, an event, announced at the PEN World Voices festival in 2012.
Launched in 2007, the award is sponsored by the University of Rochester and its book translation press Open Letter Books, with financial support from Amazon.com. It is the only prize of its kind in the US.
Ales Steger’s books have been translated into several languages. He lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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