Salamun, Tomaz: Kiss the Eyes of Peace: Selected Poems

Salamun, Tomaz: Kiss the Eyes of Peace: Selected Poems

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Milkweed Editions, paperback

Translated by Brian Henry

Publication Date: May 21, 2024

Publisher Marketing: An authoritative volume representing the vast oeuvre of one of the twentieth century's most brilliant and visionary poets.

Widely regarded as some of the most important and innovative poetry from postwar Europe, Tomaz Salamun's work offers a singularly thrilling reading experience. Sharp and subtle, Salamun's rhythms intertwine with an incantatory force; his prescient, liberatory politics and poetics pulse like a heartbeat. In Kiss the Eyes of Peace, the histories of Slovenia, the former Yugoslavia, and Europe are broken into kaleidoscopic harmonies of terror and joy: friends and family talk to each other under the sun as snow, apples, and deer mingle with blood and bones, with salt and cabbage, with gold, silk, and wine, and with God and heaven in the sand and grass.

"Love tore apart all my theories," writes Salamun. His oracular poems, suffused with mystic pronouncements that confound and delight, are as moving as they are eerie. And yet, if "every true poet is a monster," Salamun's profound imagination also offers us peace--grace, even--in the wildness and wilderness of his art: "May everything erupt on a clear day, just as it is, / into sacredness and the beauty of the gift: life."

Translated from the Slovenian and curated by esteemed author and translator Brian Henry, this expansive arrangement is the first of its kind to offer a comprehensive English-language retrospective of Salamun's storied career.