The Rise of the Zebra

By Tomaž Šalamun 1941–2014 Tomaž Šalamun

Translated By Michael Thomas Taren and Tomaž Šalamun

The rise of the zebra hurts the zebra.
As if she would breathe fire.
If  we put natural gold and the black blue into
the loaf of  bread it bursts.

Find and shove,
open and wound.

The oars when kneaded in and then stretched,
How they bump into wheat
on the white surface again.

There are three corpses in Gravel Cave.
One keeps silent.
One snowballs.
One conceals.

Source: Poetry (May 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2014
 Tomaž  Šalamun


Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun was one of Europe’s most prominent poets of his generation and was a leader of the Eastern European avant-garde. Early in his career he edited the literary magazine Perspektive and was briefly jailed on political charges. He studied art history at the University of Ljubljana, where he found poetry suddenly, as a revelation, describing its arrival in a 2004 interview as “stones from the sky.”

Šalamun . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death

POET’S REGION Eastern Europe

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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