Šalamun Tomaž:
To Edvard Kocbek On His 70th

I have avoided you, great poet

and thinker, because you were too heavy

a burden. Fiercely I drew a line behind me,

in order to be at ease, light,

agile. An infinitesimal mote of sunlight,

dancing as it crunches the muses’  host

for a joke and spits the seeds of all oranges

high in the air. You were


clearly powerful, not an orange. So that

the glint, so the show, so that children

point up at the colorful flying kites. I was

the apple tree unaware who had


watered its soil. Today I know who,

more than any among us, is the shaper

of our freedom. Now I am shaken

with feeling and I’ll quickly raise my glass


to your health. You see, precisely because it’s

a holiday I must continue

with my crunching. I sense that

joy strengthens with every moment.

Translated by Michael Biggins