Reviews for Blue Tower

Library Journal Reviews 2011 November #1

Widely anthologized and translated into more than 20 languages, acclaimed and prolific Slovenian poet Šalamun (There's the Hand and There's the Arid Chair) is one of European literature's leading voices, recalling John Ashbery in his surrealistic style, unconnected images, and the comical scenes. As this fine translation reveals, Šalamun's poems liberate the hidden spark in everyday objects by displacing their inherent meaning and reinventing their freshness. Poetry here shatters our normal perceptions to create a vast and diversified sense of reality: "Have you ever rooted an island out of the sea? Actually/ Heard the noise made by the water as it flies into the void?/ Have you ever protected the mist with your own hand?" Writing about strayed memories and people, places, and familiar objects that are absent or only fleeting presences, the poet demonstrates elegantly that poetry processes life in shreds rather than as a unified whole. Hence the cleverly displayed semantic disarray and the elusiveness of meaning in most of the poems. VERDICT A tribute to the power of imagination to give meaning and coherence to what seems as fragmented and disconnected in life; for all readers.--Sadiq Alkoriji, South Regional Lib., Broward Cty., FL

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 October #4

"I'm here to detonate your incest, so that now/ his, others' and my gentle snow can fall on you." So Salamun concludes a typically explosive three-page poem, one that also features the Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio, the "scents of stable manure," and Salamun's Slovenian compatriot, the world-famous cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek. Such exclamations, constant shocks and surprises, and guest appearances by famous individuals take place throughout Salamun's head-turning, rapid-fire book, his 11th in English translation, whose locales also take in Latin America, Britain, France, and a disturbing pan-European history where "A washed pot, if/ you shine a deer in it, vomits craquelures back in your/ mouth and eyes. " His quick scene changes and large cast might leave some readers feeling dizzy, but the same effects--as in Salamun's previous books--might give others the sense of an exciting in-group or the eureka moments of a decoded dream. (Oct.)

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