Friday, June 30, 2006

On this abundantly abandoned world

After a long absence, I'm back with another translation of one of my faourite poets - Edvard Kocbek. The original title in Slovene is "Pred Figovcem", "In Front of the Figovec", which is a famous tavern just oudside the old city centre of Ljubljana. The tavern actually still exists, although I don't think it is the place when you can see the type of people described in the poem. In the meantime, they've moved elswhere, becoming more and more numerous.

In Front of a Tavern in Ljubljana

They sit stiffly, alien and tired
as if they had just stepped out from the vehicles,
gone through an enormously long race,
forgetting where they came from,
whom did they race,
why and where their goals were set.

Their eyes stagger with greed,
they carry countless twists within them,
and a dizzy, leveled path.
Speed kept carrying them away,
throwing them swiftly up in the air
and dangerously separating them from ground.

They cannot save themselves from daze,
for they keep having problems
with something that passionately surrounds them,
as though, besides the infinite horizon
and themselves, there was nothing else
on this abundantly abandoned world.


Bo said...


Bo said...

i mean calm in a way, but emotionally disturbing in another

P.S. So you are translating Slovene poems into English for a hobby? That's funny. I do it too sometimes. Would you like to see my translation of Pavček's Popotnik / Wanderer? I could blog it. The translatin is a bit immature (the original poem too!), of 3 or so years ago, but I am still quite fond of it.

luka said...

"mean calm in a way, but emotionally disturbing in another"
Ha, that's Kocbek!

Let's say it's a hobby and a training... and a way of reading.

I actually don't know the poem: if you think the translation is worth blogging, then do it, of course!