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[book cover] What We Are When We Are <br><em>Kaj smo, ko smo</em>

Cvetka Lipu?, translated by Tom Priestly

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October 2018

9781771992497 (Paperback)
9781771992503 (PDF)
9781771992510 (ePub)


Mingling Voices

Literature / Translations



About the Book

Working within a postmodern style, this rhythmic and melodious bilingual collection of poems originally written in Slovenian by Cvetka Lipu? and translated here by Tom Priestly, blends the real with the surreal, dull urban lives with dreams. Lipu?, known for the lexical beauty of her work, dwells on topics of time and space which she handles in an almost revolving, irreverent manner. Priestly captures the maze-like characteristic of her verse and carefully reconstructs the sonoric beauty of the work in its original language.



If you were to change the clock
as we do in the fall, when we move
the clock’s hand back,
would you steer through yourself
using the heavenly map of your ancestors,
past grandmothers and grandfathers
who with advice and warnings
indicate the navigational path,
along which sail your descendants
under the flag ‘who flies high,
falls low’—
in greater and greater numbers.
Or would you rather let go of the angel’s
elbow and jump,


About the Author

Born in Austria, Cvetka Lipu? is the author of seven collections of poetry in Slovenian. Kaj smo, ko smo (2015), for which Lipu? received the Pre?eren Foundation Award, was shortlisted for the Veronika Prize, Slovenia’s most prestigious poetry prize.

Tom Priestly is professor emeritus in the Department of Modern Languages and Culture Studies at the University of Alberta and the author of numerous translations including Jani Virk’s The Last Temptation of Sergiy (2016).



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Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.

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Foreword by Donna Kane

Odprti konec | Open End

Regrets | Regrets

Jutranja vo?nja | Morning Journey

Kaj bi | What If

Zaposlitev | Employment

Sanje | The Dream

Dedi??ina | Inheritance

Vdova | The Widow

Deseti januar | January Tenth

Koncert za glas in nebo | Concerto for Voice and Sky

Te?ki od ?asa | Heavy with Time

Naj sonce ne zaide nad jezo | Let Not the Sun Go Down on Your Anger

Slovo | Saying Goodbye

Nespe?nost | Sleeplessness

Novi naslov | The New Address

Poglej nas, kako lebdimo | Watch Us Float

Obisk | The Visit

No? z grozo v gobcu | A Night with a Threat in Its Muzzle

Vodi? | Guide

Gibalo | Perpetuum Mobile

Kje si, ko si | Where You Are When You Are

Negovanje | Caring

Prehod | Passage

Po?itnice | Holidays

Lake Mendota | Lake Mendota

Pogled zavesti | The Look of Consciousness

Dreams Limited | Dreams Limited

To-Do List | To-Do List

Prijavni urad | The Registration Office

Na levem boku dneva | On the Port Side of the Day

Drago ?ivljenje, | Dear Life,

?akanje | Waiting

Afterword by Toma? Topori?i?

About the Author and Translator