Above the Sky, Beneath the Earth

Above the Sky beneath the Earth

Extended English translation of Nad nebom pod zemljo
Translated by Brian Henry
White Pine Press, Buffalo NY, 2019
ISBN: 9781945680328


Esteemed American readers, Aleš Šteger is the real thing! He is the poet of inimitable gifts! He is one of the best Eastern European poets of his generation! It is the truth: Šteger is a marvelous voice, one that takes some of the playfulness of his Yugoslavian compatriots Vasko Popa and Tomaž Šalamun to the whole new level. What is that level? It’s Šteger’s very own kind of wisdom: “Between truth and man / I choose waiting.” What is the source of this wisdom? “I got stuck in silence,” the poet says, “therefore I write.” To which one might add: he knows loss, therefore his poems are beautiful. In these remarkable translations by Brian Henry we are lucky enough to behold in English the work of this major Slovenian voice.

Ilya Kaminsky


The playfulness of Aleš Šteger’s Above the Sky Beneath the Earth (translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry) is contagious.

Valzhyna Mort, Poetry




My mother
Who art in bodies,
Devastation is your name.
Come to me at least
In your exile,
Your brutality occurs
In poverty and plenty.
Toss today at least
A worthless crumb
And forgive me
My moments of weakness,
When I try to steal more from life
Than you intend.
Don’t lead me once more into emptiness,
May my bones be crushed
When you caress me,