The Slovenia Times

Good Poetry Makes the Author Disappear


At the opening ceremony, a Ptuj street was officially named after poet Tomaž Šalamun, who died late last year.

"In the process of creation of a poem, if the poem is really good, the author disappears," said Dekleva, who is this year's honorary guest of the festival along with C.D. Wright, an American who will release her first poetry collection in Slovenian during the festival.

Yesterday Dekleva's bilingual collection of poems entitled "Darwin gre v jedilnico/Darwin goes dining" was presented. Translator Andrej Pleterski said the book was neither an anthology nor a new poetry collection, as it brought some of Dekleva's yet unpublished poems as well as those which marked his work in the third millennium.

The collection is divided into eight chapters, encompassing Dekleva's 15-year work, for which he has received the Prešeren Prize, the top national art award.

Dekleva, who started writing poems when he was thirteen, intertwines western philosophy into his work, according to many critics, and uses many different methods when creating poetry.

"Poetry always vibrates like a musical harmony with the soul of its reader. It is a contact of some distant souls. It is in fact a long-distance romance," the poet said.

Indeed, music has always played an important role in his life and in the 1970s he was in a band called Salamander, but he eventually chose literature over a musical career.

"Music requires too much work...and that's not my thing. I like doing many things, including playing with children," said Dekleva, who was also the editor of the children's programme at public broadcaster RTV Slovenija.

The Days of Poetry and Wine opening night featured poets Hester Knibbe and Jan Baeke from the Netherlands and Geert van Istendaelom and Maud Vanhauwaert from Belgium, as contemporary Dutch poetry is in focus of this year's festival.

The festival, running until Saturday, will feature a total of twenty poets from 15 countries writing in 16 languages.

For the first time ever, the festival will include presentations of poets of the Versopolis platform, aimed at promoting mobility of European poets. The EU-funded platform currently gathers eleven European poetry festivals and a total of 55 poets from eleven European countries.


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