Songs of Earth and Light


Songs of Earth and Light by Barbara Korun
Translated from Slovene by Theo Dorgan

Southword Editions, 2005, 62 pages
ISBN: 978-1-905002-06-1


The elements of Barbara Korun’s poems are easily stated: light, earth, air, stars, the animal realm, her beloved karst landscape, the sovereign erotics of being human. What gives these poems their lift and savour, however, is not so easily named. Korun is both blunt and subtle, at once fantastically delicate and brutally direct as she confronts the terror and mystery and rough joys of being a mind incarnate – or, if you prefer, a thinking animal. Nobody now writing in English is as daring or clear-eyed about desire at the twin edges of meaning and fear.

“This is an amazing book by a courageous and visionary poet from Slovenia. Barbara Korun’s direct voice is haunting and full of surprises, Theo Dorgan’s translations propelling it into English pieces that leave most American poetry behind.” The Bloomsbury Review

“Theo Dorgan’s delicate translations of the Slovene poet Barbara Korun’s equally delicate yet precise poems of love and loss are generous, faithful echoes of the strongly-gendered voice of the original.” The Irish Times