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Niko Grafenauer against the background of contemporary European poetry and a translation of a selection… Lazar, Jože 1970

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NIKO GRAFENAUER AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN POETRY AND A TRANSLATION OF A SELECTION OF HIS POETRY ENTITLED CONDITION by Jo2e Lazar B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n Comparative L i t e r a t u r e We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1970 In presenting t h i s thesis in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree tha permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Comparative Literature The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada D a t e A p r i l 27, 1970 ABSTRACT Slavic l i t e r a r y trends usually l a g behind those of Western 2 u r 0 p e and normally transform them, lending them a s p e c i f i c national f l a v o r . Ihis i s also true of most twentieth-century Slovene poetic movements, es p e c i a l l y i n the period of S o c i a l i s t Realism when most of the poetic styles introduced and practiced In Western Europe were almost absent from Slovene poetry. During recent years, however, styl e s have emerged i n Slovene poetry that not only keep abreast of those of Western Europe, but also assume a cosmopolitan character. % e purpose of t h i s thesis i s to prove that Niko Grafenauer i s a West-European poet i n the f u l l e s t sense, as well as to introduce h i s poetry to the English-speaking reader. Through a discussion and a translation of h i s l a t e r poetry, an attempt i s made to define h i s work i n terms of h i s European contemporaries, to point to h i s innovations, and to suggest that h i s l a t e r poetry i s close to what some writers c a l l ' i d e a l , ' 'pure,' or 'absolute poetry.* The method of c r i t i c i s m i s comparative. Throughout the monograph the aim i s to describe and compare the authors and the works under discussion, and to ar r i v e at synthesis by analyzing certain c h a r a c t e r i s t i c aspects and i l l u s t r a t i n g them by short quotations. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I should l i k e to express my deepest thanks to Professor Michael Bullock, Professor Zblgniev Folejewski, Professor M.J. Yates and Professor Marketa C. Goetz Stankiewicz, as well as a number of other teachers from the Language and Lit e r a t u r e departments of the University of B r i t i s h Colum-bia, who have given me various kinds of assistance i n the research and the writing of t h i s thesis* I am also exceedingly grateful to Professor Joseph Paternost of the Pennsylvania State University, who kindly consented to check the accuracy of my translation, and to Dr. M.J. Edwards fo r having proofread the th e s i s . TABLE OP CONTENTS ABSTRACT. i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i l l TABLE OF CONTENTS i v INTRODUCTION 1 PART ONE NIKO GRAFENAUER AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN POETRY I. BACKGROUND 5 II.,NIKO GRAFENAUER: BIOGRAPHY 8 I I I . THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GRAFENAUER'S EARLIER AND LATER POETRY 9 IV. GRAFENAUER' S POETRY IN A SLOVENE CONTEXT 18 V., GRAFENAUER'S POETRY IN A SLAVIC CONTEXT OTHER THAN SLOVENE 23 VI.. GRAFENAUER'S POETRY IN A WEST-EUROPEAN CONTEXT 30 VII. GRAFENAUER'S STYLE ...41 VIII. YUGOSLAV CRITICISM OF GRAFENAUER' S POETRY... .47 IX. CONCLUSION 51 PART TWO CONDITION traces on the skin The Walk 57 Time and F a l l 58 The House 59 Night 60 i The Speech of Silence Evening Downhill Hate The Chapter a blade across the eyes Fate St. Jerome A Winter Poem These and These A Blade Across the Eyes Rebirth the trap The Guest Peace...• The Rain. The Trap. Horror... image s Country.. The Flood Drought.. I Am Winter... Silence.. elohim Alone The Vulture Fear Claws Tiredness.. Thir s t The Head... v l Widow 96 Elohim; 97 oondition The Hand* .. 99 The Eyes 100 The Weight 101 You Are 102 The Streak 103 The Room 104 S t i l l - L i f e I 106 II 107 III 108 IV 109 V 110 Drawings I 112 II 113 III 114 IV 115 V 116 FOOTNOTES 117 BIBLIOGRAPHY 12j6 1. Primary Sources .12j6 2. Secondary Sources 130 INTRODUCTION Slavic l i t e r a r y trends usually l a g behind those of Western Europe and normally transform them, lending them a s p e c i f i c national flavour. This i s also true of most twentieth-century Slovene poetic movements, es p e c i a l l y the period of Slovene S o c i a l i s t Realism when most of the poetic styles introduced and practiced i n Western Europe were almost absent from Slovene poetry. During recent years, howeyer, styl e s have emerged i n Slovene poetry that not only keep abreast of those of Western Europe, but also assume a cosmopolitan character. The purpose of t h i s thesis i s to prove that Niko Grafenauer i s a West-European poet i n the f u l l e s t sense of the word, as well as to i n t r o -duce h i s poetry to the English-speaking reader. The thesis consists of two parts: a monograph on Niko Grafenauer's poetry and a translation of a selection of h i s l a t e r poetry, e n t i t l e d Condition. The monograph i s divided into nine sections. In the f i r s t section the main events i n modern Slovene poetry that lead to the emergence of the poetry of Niko Grafenauer are discussed. In t h i s section the appearances of Pesml s t l r i h (poems by the Foursome), a c o l l e c t i o n of personal and intimate poems by KoviS, Zlobec, Menart and PavSek from 1953, and Dane Zajc's Poggana trava (The Scorched Grass) from 1958, i n which the 2 f i r s t condemnation of the Yugoslav Partisan Revolution i n Slovene l i t e r a t u r e occurs, are taken as turning points In contemporary Slovene poetry. Section two covers the most Important f a c t s of Niko Grafenauer's l i f e and work. The t h i r d section presents a genetic outline of h i s poetry, which developed from the t r a d i t i o n a l Slovene nostalgic l y r i c i s m to a highly * impersonal' poetic idiom. In the fourth section, Grafenauer's work i s eompared and contrasted to that of h i s Slovene contemporaries. Here an attempt i s made to point out the uniqueness of h i s poetry and thus gain him the c r e d i t he has not yet f u l l y received at home. The f i f t h section deals with Grafenauer's poetry within a wider Slavic context; i t concludes with the suggestion that Zbigniev Herbert i s the only Sla v i c poet who writes i n a style s i m i l a r to that of Grafenauer. In the sixth section Grafenauer's form,,technique, and themes are discussed and compared with those of h i s West-European contemporaries with whom he has most i n common. Here, as well as i n the next section, i t i s suggested that the concentration of imagery connoting d i s i n t e g r a t i o n and a l i e n a t i o n , some more r e s t r i c t e d poetic forms, and some p a r t i c u l a r techniques make h i s poetry appear unique also within the framework of West-European poetry. The seventh section,, on Grafenauer's s t y l e , i s a supplement to the 3 preceding sections. In t h i s section Grafenauer's style i s defined as a synthesis of the Imagist, Expressionist and S u r r e a l i s t s t y l e s that r e s u l t s i n a style which i s 'impersonal,'*yet'subjective, * and which has been predo-minantly practised i n Germany and France during the l a s t twenty years. In section eight the Yugoslav c r i t i c i s m of Grafenauer's poetry i s discussed. Here i t i s pointed out that although much Yugoslav c r i t i c i s m i s directed against Grafenauer*s l a t e r poetry because of i t s high degree of •impersonality' and heavy concentration of morbid Imagery, he deserves c r e d i t as an innovator i n Slovene poetry. The conclusion consists of a r e c a p i t u l a t i o n of the main points of the discussion and a few notes on Condition. Part two of the thesis i s a translation of a selection of Niko Grafenauer*s l a t e r poetry, e n t i t l e d Condition. I t i s divided into eight cycles of poems. The f i r s t three come from h i s second book, Stlska Jezika (Language Under Pressure), published i n 1965; t n e other three have appeared i n magazines since then. As mentioned above, more i s said about Condition l n the concluding pages of the monograph. *Please see Appendix, pp. 133-4. PART ONE NIKO GRAFENAUER AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN POETRY I BACKGROUND Modern Slovene poetry began towards the end of the l a s t century at the time when Symbolist and post-Symbol1st poetry had already been recognized i n France. At t h i s time such leading Slovene poets as Oton 2upandi5, Ivan Cankar, Dragotln Kette and Jbsip Murn began to question the o l d poetic values; they retained, however, t r a d i t i o n a l poetic forms, and i t was only with the advent of Futurism that new, more modern ways of expression were introduced into Slovene poetry. Slovene poetry between the wars r e f l e c t s such European l i t e r a r y movements as Futurism, Expressionism, Parnassian, minor traces of Dadalsm and Surrealism as well as Neorealism, which gained ground about 1925 and developed eventually into S o c i a l i s t Realism. S o c i a l i s t Realism became prevalent i n the l a t e t h i r t i e s * reached i t s peak during World War II i n the Partisan poetry, and exhausted i t s e l f i n the Yugoslav reconstruction or program poetry. A f t e r 19^8, however, when Yugoslavia broke away from the East-European block, and p a r t i c u l a r l y a f t e r 1950, with the beginning of the Yugoslav "self-management," pre-war themes, techniques and forms began to be re-introduced into Slovene poetry. 6 In 1 9 5 3 , f o r example, four young poets, Kajetan Kovifi* C l r l l Zlobec, Janez Menart and Tone Pavdek published Pesml  g t l r l h (Poems by the Foursome), a book of poems predominantly about personal and Intimate problems. A number of poems, such as Pav5ek*s "Balada 1948," express a disappointment i n the "new times." 1 In addition, the poets published l n t h i s book d e f i n i t i o n s of poetry opposing the tenets of S o c i a l i s t Realism. Pesml s t l r l h was the f i r s t major break with S o c i a l i s t Realism i n Slovene poetry. A further s i g n i f i c a n t step i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n occurred i n 1955 when Ivan Mlnatti, the young partisan, concentration camp and s o c i a l i s t reconstruction poet published Pa bo  pomlad p r l s l a (But Spring Will Gome), where he puts stress on love and nature instead of h i s previous s o c i a l themes. However, the r e a l switch from r a t i o n a l i s t i c , u t i l i t a r i a n and propagandist poetry to a more personal, intimate or "subjective" kind occurred i n 1958. In t h i s year a book of poetry e n t i t l e d Poggana trava (The Scorched Grass) appeared; i t contrasts strongly with Zlmzelen pod snegom (The Evergreen Under the Snow), a c o l l e c t i o n of poems f u l l of l i g h t and hope published soon a f t e r the war by the Neoromantic Oton ZupanSiS. The Scorched Grass was published by the daring young poet Dane Zajc at h i s own expense. In t h i s book Zajc not 7 only gives precedence to personal problems at the expense of "common Interests," but also condemns the Yugoslav Partisan Revolution. The l i n e s , "Your young, white teeth/ were a s t e r i l e sowing, (brothei],^ are an antithesis- to "I t i s b e a u t i f u l , you know mother, i t i s bea u t i f u l to l i v e , / but what I died f o r , I would l i k e to die for again!" by Karl Destovnlk-Kajuh, the representative of the Slovene Partisan poetry. Zajc's l i n e s caused a great s t i r l n Yugoslav l i t e r a r y and other c i r c l e s . The commotion that followed i s best expressed i n "Spanski motlv" (The Spanish Motif), a poem dedicated to Zajc by Mlroslav Kosuta i n h i s MorJe brez obale (The Shoreless Sea) of 1963: Tomorrow. Today you bellow, today you run, today you are free i n t h i s confined freedom: the pasture© i s fenced with barbed wire. Tomorrow. Today you f l a i l the sun, today you are the black bow of courage, today, among your own. Tomorrow. (Darkness w i l l sow the pasture and you w i l l l i e somewhere. You'll f e e l the earth by your t i r e d body: i t w i l l grow into you and with i t you w i l l grow, the greatest.) Tomorrow. Tomorrow they w i l l drive you to the arena. Bellow, black b u l l , darkly and moaningly bellow also f o r me.5 8 A f t e r the advent of the Scorched Grass and the poetry represented by i t , as well as the opening of Yugoslav borders about i960, Slovene poetry went into f u l l swing. Today i t r e f l e c t s again some of the ideas as well as forms of West-European l y r i c . Niko Grafenauer i s e n t i r e l y a West-European poet. II NIKO GRAFENAUER: BIOGRAPHY Niko Grafenauer belongs to the l a s t generation but one of Slovene poets. He was born i n Ljubljana i n 1940, and began to write poetry i n High School. While studying Comparative l i t e r a t u r e at the University of Ljubljana he wrote about, and translated, West-European and American poets who p a r t l y influenced h i s work. P a r t i c u l a r l y relevant i n t h i s respect are Rilke, Benn, Krolow and Celan to whom he i s probably most indebted. His f i r s t book of poetry vje,8er p-^ed praznlkom (On the Eve of a Holiday), published i n 196*2, was acclaimed by some c r i t i c s as the best book of the year by a young poet i n Yugoslavia. With h i s second book Stiska je z l k a (Language Under Pressure), published i n 1965* Grafenauer placed himself among the outstanding young Yugoslav poets. After language Under  Pressure he published three cycles of poems: "Stanje" 9 (Condition), nTihoz*ltJa" ( S t i l l - L i f e ) , and "Rlzbe" (Drawings). He l i v e s i n Ljubljana as a freelance writer and e d i t o r - i n -chief of Probleml, one of Yugoslavia's leading c u l t u r a l and l i t e r a r y reviews. Por h i s thesis on Rilke ne received the University of Ljubljana MPre§em Award.*' Some of h i s o r i t l c a l work i s being translated into French and I t a l i a n ; a selection of h i s l a t e s t poems, e n t i t l e d Condition, i s awaiting publication In English. Niko Grafenauer also writes humorous rhymes f o r children, and i n t h i s respect he succeeds Oton Supano'lS, the doyen of twentieth-century Slovene poets, who died i n 19^9. Ten thousand copies of Grafenauer's Pedenjped. which replaces 2upanS15's Clolban, are now being reprinted. I l l THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GRAFENAUER'S EARLIER AND LATER POETRY Niko Grafenauer i s an o r i g i n a l , sensitive, emotive, and cerebral poet who i s capable of producing manifold concatenations of metaphors and similes suggesting the state of mind of modern man. He depicts t h i s state mainly through h i s persona and the use of nature Imagery. There i s an e s s e n t i a l difference, however, between h i s e a r l i e r and l a t e r work i n terms of theme, technique and form. While i n most of h i s e a r l i e r poems man and nature 10 e l i c i t a favorable response from the poet, i n h i s l a t e r work they produce either an antagonistic or an i n d i f f e r e n t attitude; while much of h i s e a r l i e r poetry i s personal, evocative, and declaratory, most of h i s l a t e r poems are highly 'impersonal' and suggestive; while i n most of h i s e a r l i e r poems he employs forms influenced by F u t u r i s t poetics, i n most of h i s l a t e r ones he has recourse to more t r a d i t i o n a l modes of expression. In " V i s i t o r s to the Park," the f i r s t poem i n On the  Eve of a Holiday* Grafenauer writes: I don't know you, v i s i t o r s to the park. Night climbed on your shoulders l i k e an old, b l i n d pldgeon searching f o r i t s nest. Fondle night, v i s i t o r s to the park. With wide traces l e t your soul cry into i t to exhaustion....° In accordance with the Slovene l y r i c a l t r a d i t i o n , i n t h i s poem the poet i s not only evocative, but also exhibits a high degree of emotion i n the l i n e s "With wide traces l e t your soul cry into i t / to exhaustion." In "Letter," "quivering from tenderness," he f e e l s the approach of h i s beloved, whose "trembling hands yearn to change into a goblet of love." In the early poems, the poet seeks "no shelter from softness." His "soul hides a poem" which "makes i t s e l f heard at the f i r s t gentle s t i r r i n g of a i r . " 11 Nature Is a consolation to him; he searches f o r a place where he "can r e s t (hisi soul" because he i s " s t i l l the unblossomed flower i n the blood" and '•as s o f t as tears at tree-roots." "Tenderness, created from undulating wheat f i e l d s , nears i t s shoulders" to him. Then images which suggest sorrow and pain begin to appear. The poet has v i s i o n s of a " s t e r i l e landscape," "dark nights," and "death." "Within the blinds of black-forebodings" he is "growing up"; "the pain behind eyelids thickens"; "fatigue" begins "to f a l l " on him; "the a i r is thick l i k e the fear of death"; "the cruel serpent's ceremony begins." There i s no more inner whole-ness and harmony; silence p r e v a i l s . The poet "retreats into silence within the v e i l of forgetfulness." He turns "away from himself" and seeks "a happier world." "Peace i s a blessing f o r which {he; searchejf." When he f i n d s i t , he i s pacified,. and "the tender b e e t l e 1 s wings g l i s t e n i n the dark." In the l a s t oyole of h i s f i r s t book the poet i s concerned with "the secret shudders of creation," which means to him " i n t o x i c a t i o n , " "love," "a song," " l i g h t , " and "revelation." He wants h i s "soul to blend with a single quivering of l i g h t " — " ( S o f t n e s s grows i n Jhimj l i k e a mountain.)"7 His "Softness" i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of h i s e a r l i e r poetry: 12 From t h i s mountain I watch the birds, the good chambermaids of longitudes, sent to be the hearts i n the chest of blueness. Beneath me i s the f o r e s t : the extending p l a i n of brass. Summer winds the banner of green leaves. I am alone i n time, blue from dusk. Bent: tenderness approaches i t s shoulders to me created from-the song of undulating wheat. Below are the f i e l d s , open stages of autumn. A l i t t l e desolate i n the growing darkness. In the hands of August a book whose leaves the wind turns over. (Softness grows i n me l i k e a mountain.)" Like the majority of poems i n On the Eve of a Holiday, t h i s poem has strong traces of the t r a d i t i o n a l Slovene poetic idiom. Such words and phrases as "chambermaids," "hearts," "green leaves," "tenderness," and "undulating wheat" are absent from Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry, which i n most respects begins with Language Under Pressure. In h i s l a t e r poetry, and especially i n Language Under  Pressure, nature o f f e r s the poet no consolation. On the contrary, the "gloomy winds that bar [his] way" at the beginning of the book become "corroded," " b i t t e r , " and "coarse," " l i k e claws." "The peace of the forest stares l i k e a dead eye." "The waste country greens with spreading mould." "The desert i s f u l l of blazing apparitions." "The rubble goggles from the dead slime"; "nettles c l i c k t h e i r sharp tongues"; " l i z a r d s " are hidden "under every stone"; 13 "snakes t w i r l upwards l i k e t h i n smoke," "On the ground a tu f t of weeds twitohes l i k e a beetle turned upside down." The earth i s a "gaping jaw" which waits to swallow the i n d i v i d u a l . The i n d i v i d u a l "stands alone under the sky as long as jhej l i ve s ) . " He loses "as long as [he) can stand somewhere." "By a long s p i t t l e |hej i s pinned to the toes that en l iven frimj." He r e p l i e s "with l i v i n g water" to h i s beloved who " i n steep s i l e n c e " seems a " f l e e t i n g shadow" "on the treacherous stage of l i g h t . " He walks "without peace through the dark c i t y f l a t tened by the f a l l i n g snow"; i t s "garret-windows are patched with wicked faces " ; "every door jhe leansj upon opens in to the n i g h t . " "Streaked with blood and cool shadows" KLohim approaches; " s i l ence en-tangles" them; t t l ike a l i t t l e forked tongue anger f la#ies i n (En/ohim* s} eyes. "9 In " C o n d i t i o n , " " S t i l l - L i f e " and "Drawings," Grafenauer reduces h i s declaratory statement to a minimum and assumes even a more detached a t t i tude towards the world he descr ibes . Here are mainly such verses as "The hand droops mutely i n the dust l i k e a snake's s lough"; "In t w i l i g h t the head i s l i k e a heavy swarm of bees"; "A ro t ten breath c l i n g s to your face l i k e a sp ide r ' s web"; "Thick threads hang from the sky l i k e dead r a i n " ; "The a i r i s f u l l of s i l e n t s t ra ins Ik of birds"; and "The cold weight of s h i f t i n g c r i p p l e s your motions." In terms of theme Grafenauer's l a t e r period begins with Language Under Pressure, but i t has strong roots already i n Qn the Eve of a Holiday l n the cycles "Like Dying" and " L o n e l i n e s s " — s u b t i t l e d "The Cult of Things"— where ^The cruel serpent's ceremony b e g i n s , " 1 0 and "Dis-integration i s the f i n a l aim of everything." 1 1 In the same manner, some of h i s early l y r i c i s m reaches as f a r as "Images" i n the l a t t e r part of Language Under Pressure where "Thick pains s l i c e a l l along / the hand shining i n tw i l i g h t l i k e a long beam."12 In terms of form and most techniques, however, Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry begins about the middle of Language Under Pressure. From h i s poem "Rebirth," p a r t s l and 2, he uses exclusively pre-Futurlst poetic forms, or rather those forms which the Expressionists began to employ as a reaction against F u t u r i s t "dynamism" and i t s de-humanization of man. While Grafenauer never employs any of the extreme forms Fu t u r i s t s used to give t h e i r poetry greater v i s u a l or auditive Impact, most of h i s e a r l i e r poems consist of stanzas and l i n e s of Irregular length. In many cases, f o r example i n "On the Theme; Love" i n On the Eve of a  Holiday and "So High" i n the f i r s t part of Language Under 15 Pressure, he even uses modified forms of Mayakovski•s stairway stanza. In h i s l a t e r poetry, on the other hand, Grafenauer—with the exception of two poems consisting of f i v e - l i n e stanzas—employs exclusively t r a d i t i o n a l quatrains followed by an occasional couplet. The quatrains are either i n free verse or a v a r i a t i o n of an abab rhyme scheme. Yet, compared to h i s short-lined "Summer" or the "Cantos" from On the Eve of a Holiday, where he en-deavors to bring out the sing-song qu a l i t y of Slovene folk-poetry and the Symbolist melodiousness, l n h i s l a t e r poems he employs rhyme to stress the monotony of the condition he describes. Compared, too, to the i r r e g u l a r and broken rhythmic patterns of h i s e a r l i e r poems, the rhythm of the predominantly long verses of h i s l a t e r poetry i s even and subdued. Another feature that distinguishes Grafenauer's e a r l i e r and l a t e r forms are h i s t i t l e s . While most of h i s e a r l e r poem and cycle t i t l e s consists of phrases and i n a few cases even sentences expressing a thought, a l l t i t l e s of h i s poetry from the middle of Language Under Pressure a r e — i n the o r i g i n a l — o n e word or a number only. Such t i t l e s from On the Eve of a Holiday as "Sometimes'it i s Good to be Alone," "This City i s Closer to Death than to Truth," and "The Song of Departure," s u b - t i t l e d "(For Chorus and S o l o i s t s ) , " stand i n strong contrast, 16 for example, to such l a t e r t i t l e s as "The Head," "The Hand," "The Eyes," and "The Weight." Besides emphasizing the r e p e t i t i v e nature of the human condition, these de-personalize the human at t r i b u t e s and foreshadow the 'impersonal' tone of the poem, which he achieves, however, mainly through h i s technique. In technique there are many features which account for the difference between Grafenauer's e a r l i e r and l a t e r work, or rather the work written a f t e r "Rebirth." The most important are the substitution of suggestive Imagery for statements that are both evocative and declaratory; the employment of the second person singular pronoun to denote h i s persona i n place of h i s e a r l i e r f i r s t and t h i r d person singular or the Impersonal form (with the exception of the cycle "Images," which nevertheless has a l l the other q u a l i t i e s of h i s l a t e r poetry); the elimination of categories of people from h i s poetry, with the exception of the poem "Widow"; the discontinuance of the use of the evocative "0"; the exclamation mark; e l l i p s e s ; brackets; s u b t i t l e s ; question marks; and a number of other features which w i l l be discussed at a l a t e r stage. "Hate" from the f i r s t part of Language Under Pressure and "You are" from "Condition" are t y p i c a l of Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry. However, while "You are" represents Grafenauer's l a t e r work i n terms of form, theme and technique, "Hate"represents i t only 17 In terms of theme and some techniques. Perhaps these two poems should be quoted l n t h e i r e n t i r e t y : Hate grows l i k e the shadow of a mountain towards evening. In an i n v i s i b l e blaze i t twists things. Madness l i c k s consciousness l i k e smoke. In t w i l i g h t clairvoyants are crowned with the e f f o r t of t h e i r whole l i f e . they read the world l i k e the palms of t h e i r hands. I t i s t e r r i b l e , when I consider i t , to depart during sleep without any weight, without resistance l i k e beauty, when I consider i t , a f t e r a l l , i n spite of the dead, man has experienced nothing.13 YOU ARE You are as though made of damp earth with a v e i l of dust on your eyes. Traces extend from you to a l l sides as i f a pack of dogs were stretching your e n t r a i l s ; q u i e t l y spreads the dark stai n of blood. The s p i r i t has stuck to the base of your s k u l l l i k e s p i t t l e , none buries the bones, shadows lengthen. The teeth l i e i n the s o i l l i k e a brood of grubs, . the slimy skin of the wind grows between your f i n g e r s . Thus i t can be seen that these two poems d i f f e r greatly not only from "Softness" i n On the Eve of a Holiday, but also between themselves. The nostalgic l y r i c i s m of "Softness" i s replaced l n the f i r s t stan za of "Hate" by HATE Chained 18 an attitude of antagonism. This i n turn i s somewhat m o l l i f i e d i n "You Are"; furthermore, i t i s exemplified only i n suggestive imagery, as compared to the assertive statements of "Hate" and "Softness." The persona of "You Are" i s denoted by *you,• compared to the ' I ' of the f i r s t two poems. The form of the three poems d i f f e r s ; the l a s t poem does not mention any categories of people, etc. While Grafenauer's e a r l i e r poetry s t i l l has traces of the Slovene Neoromantlc l y r i c i s m and i s characterized by such l i n e s as "(Softness grows i n me l i k e a mountain.)", 1^ and "Peace i s the luxurious blessing I seek," 1^ h i s l a t e r work i s t y p i c a l of the contemporary European impersonal poetry and i s epitomized by such l i n e s as "Hate grows l i k e the shadow of a mountain towards evening,"17 and "You are as though made of damp earth with a v e i l of dust / on your eyes." Both by v i r t u e of h i s ^ impersonal' technique and h i s marked tendency towards the accumulation of powerful morbid imagery, Grafenauer i s an Innovator i n Slovene poetry. IV GRAFENAUER'S POETRY IN A SLOVENE CONTEXT Although much of Grafenauer's poetry has been moulded by the Slovene l y r i c t r a d i t i o n , he not only breaks with 19 the t r a d i t i o n a l melancholy moaning, the Necromantic idiom, and the functional poetry of new Yugoslavia, l i k e most of h i s contemporaries, but he also introduces a high degree of^impersonality'into Slovene poetry. While many of h i s contemporaries remain poets of hope and despair, Grafenauer appears primarily a witness to the world and man's condition. Nevertheless, there are traces of Grafenauer's l a t e r style i n a number of h i s predecessors. He has i n common with a l l major Slovene poets from Pregern onwards the u n i v e r s a l i t y of h i s theme. In t h i s respect the cerebral poet Gene Vipotnik i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant. Vipotnlk i s predominantly concerned with man's inner world, the cosmic order, and man's po s i t i o n i n i t . Some of Grafenauer's imagery i s also found i n Vipotnik's poetry; f o r example i n h i s " V i s i t " : A Woman s i t s on my prison bed tonight, ominously s i l e n t l i k e the grass on graves, Where eyes should be two beetles, Where heart should be, there a dark f i s t the poisonous weariness that struck me down, fades from my veins, my torpid sinews the night w i l l pass....3-** However, compared to Grafenauer who merely depicts man's 20 condition, Vlpotnik's depressions are followed by po s i t i v e statements about existence where the pleasure of l i f e normally defeats i t s sadness* The next Slovene poets to whom Grafenauer can be compared are the pre-World War II r e l i g i o u s Expressionists, Vodnik, Kocbek and Vodusek. These three poets turned l a t e r i n l i f e to a l i e n a t i v e poetry, where they use metaphors of free association as well as Whitmanesque l i n e s as Grafenauer does; but compared to him, they f i g h t against a l i e n a t i o n at the moment of c r i s i s . S i m i l a r l y , the Slovene op t i m i s t i c poets of d i a l e c t i c a l materialism, Bor and Udovi2, are concerned l i k e Grafenauer with contemporary philosophical trends, but unlike him, they rebel against man's inevi t a b l e fate and seek consolation In a brighter future f o r humanity, Grafenauer shares with KoviS, Menart, Ziobec and PavSek, on the one hand, some of t h e i r nostalgic l y r i c i s m , on the other, some of t h e i r a l i e n a t i o n . These are s t i l l poets of hope, however. There i s a s t i l l stronger a f f i l i a t i o n between Grafenauer and the generation of poets who come af t e r those who re-introduced intimacy in t o Slovene poetry a f t e r the war, namely, Zajc, Taufer, StrniSa and Vegri. Besides being no s t a l g i c l i k e the previous group, these poets have some of Grafenauer's cerebral structures and a l i e n a t i v e imagery where they deal with the shattered 21 Inner world of the i n d i v i d u a l . Yet, compared to the persona i n Grafenauer's poems, the persona of these poets either finds a renewed inner wholeness or becomes a self-destroying victim. Sasa Vegri also has some of Grafenauer's Neo-s u r r e a l i s t imagery. Niko Grafenauer, however, i s closest to h i s own genera-tion of Slovene poets. Among these are Marjan Kramberger, Jo2e Snoj, Francl Zagoricnik and Tomaz" Salamun. The main t i e between these poets and Grafenauer i s the theme of a l i e n a t i o n . But compared to Grafenauer's 'impersonality,* Kramberger*s poetry eventually finds an inner wholeness based on personal w i l l ; most of the poetry of Jo2e Snoj i s devoted to aestheticlsm emphasizing the Symbolist melodi-ousness and Grafenauer's early narcissism; the majority of poems by Franci Zagoricnik are thesis-poems which ' 19 lack Grafenauer's imagery; those of Tomaz" Salamun, although highly a l i e n a t i v e , contain elements of v o l i t i o n . Ferhaps Slovene a l i e n a t i v e poetry reaches i t s f i r s t peak i n the work of Toma2 Salamun. The degree of h i s alienation i s best seen l n h i s "Eclipse 1": I t i r e d of the image of my race and emigrated. Out of long spikes I weld the members of my new body. The e n t r a i l s w i l l be o l d rags. 22 The decaying cloak of a carcass w i l l be the cloak of my solitude. From the depth of a marsh I ' l l pluck the eye. From pierced slabs of disgust I ' l l b u i l d a hovel. My world w i l l be a world of sharp edges. Cruel and eternal.20 Yet, compared to Grafenauer's a l i e n a t i v e poetry, t h i s i s much more a poem of commitment. Most of Salamun's poems are poems of commitment or s a t i r i c a l , as those of Enzens-berger, or r e i s t i c , as nearly a l l those i n namen pelerine (The Purpose of the Cloak), the second book he published at h is own expense. On the other hand, i n contrast to Salamun's r e i s t i c , or rather Neodadaist and Neofuturist poetry, most of Grafenauer's has strong traces of trad-i t i o n a l prosody. Besides paying close attention to stanzaic form and rhythm, he also rhymes 50$ of h i s poems from "Rebirth" onwards. In spite of the s i m i l a r i t i e s between Grafenauer and his Slovene contemporaries, his l a t e r poetry remains a novelty. This i s due mainly to his'impersonal' technique and the heavy concentration on imagery which suggests a l i e n a t i o n and d i s i n t e g r a t i o n . V GRAFENAUER*S POETRY IN A SLAVIC CONTEXT OTHER THAN SLOVENE The re l a t i o n s h i p "between Grafenauer's work and the r e s t of Yugoslav poetry seems to be similar to h i s r e l a t i o n -ship to Slovene poetry. Marked ali e n a t i o n i s found even i n such poets as Miroslav Krlfe'2a. His poem "Snow" i s a good example of t h i s : Against the white, transparent snow a l l masks, a l l things look d i r t y . -here a l l Is ice and greyness. Through the snow's wise quiet I walk and f e e l a s t e r i l e pain. I know a l l t h i s w i l l pass, and traces of myself w i l l vanish even quicker than the snow beneath my feet. And none w i l l know that I was here and then was gone. 2 1 PetkoviS i s f u l l of gloomy moods similar to those of Grafenauer; Desanka Maksimovidc'deals with the d i s i n t e g r a t i n g inner cosmos of man; Dusan Matid i s concerned with the problem of communication; and the work of such Serbian poets as Ristic -, Dedinac, VuSo and DaviCo contains much S u r r e a l i s t Imagery. Vasko Papa has some of Grafenauer's Neo-surrea-l i s t imagery as well as some of h i s hermeticlsm. In the poetry of the Macedonian Gogo Ivanovski, exi s t e n t i a l i s m similar to that of Grafenauer i s evident. Perhaps Ivanovski's 24 poem "The Voice" i s the most e x p l i c i t expression of French e x i s t e n t i a l thought i n Yugoslav poetry. In t h i s poem Ivanovski writes without r e s t r a i n t : I am the beginning and the end, I am the moment, the hour, the y e a r — time. • • Without me there i s nothing. I am the Creator; A l l was born i n my eyes, i n them i t w i l l be burled. For here, alas, I am omnipotent. z Such l i n e s from Macedonian poetry as Matev&ki's "stone i n my hands and i n the eyes, mud?"2-^ and Sopov's "From the hard jaw of the time my word proceeds / and springs 24 up i n the f i e l d s with the teeth of seeds" also resemble Grafenauer 1s wo rk. Perhaps the Slav poet who i s most comparable to him (as f a r as works available i n English translations are concerned) i s the Pole Zbigniev Herbert. Like the poetry of Grafenauer, that of Herbert i s permeated with contempo-rary e x i s t e n t i a l philosophy. Like Grafenauer, Herbert too i s concerned with the ontological problem of the " I , " the d i f f i c u l t i e s of communication, and the expressive p o t e n t i a l i t i e s of language. There are also s i m i l a r i t i e s i n t h e i r imagery, although Herbert's i s not presented with 25 the same degree of ^ impersonality'as that of the later Grafenauer. The likeness between the two poets can be suggested by Juxtaposing some lines from their poetry: Herb.: ...there i s no li m i t to decay. A l l that w i l l be l e f t after us in the black earth will be scattered syllables. Accents over nothingness and dust.25 Graf.: Dust, which vibrates l i k e an excess of silence, dust, rising higher than the beauty of the world, dust dust, the axis of dust, -I r e c a l l . 2 6 Herb.: we shall be saved each one alone 2? Graf.: Each from our own side we approach midnight. 2^ Herb.: we have a common date of birth date of death Q a common loneliness " Gi-af.: In the dusky forest where a cool li g h t flows through „ (the peaks everyone i s as much alone as the deaf.-3 Herb.: after a loud whisper of silence this voice resounds l i k e a spring of l i v i n g water31 Graf.: silence echoes around and the evening stops l i k e a motionless thrust into wood f u l l of unspoken threats.32 Herb.: powerful Jaws of insects consume the silence of the earth-^ Graf.: The rain swarms into the open ear; slowly i t begins to pierce the polished peace of the world.34 Herb.: We l i v e in the narrow bed of our flesh.35 26 Graf.: The shadow that s i t s i n you v e i l s your every thought.36 You lean over your thoughts, as over a bleeding vein.37 Herb.: My inner voice has nothing to advise you hear only s y l l a b l e s stripped of a l l meaning3o Graf.: The image abandons the f l e e i n g birds In the emptiness that follows the unexpected f a l l — f u l l of dread silence, l i k e a p r e c i p i c e — they c a l l each other without an echo.39 Herb.: slowlyythe water f i l l s the shapes of the feet which have vanished*^ Graf.: Wherever you turn you face slimy snow into which your dark figure w i l l one day be lmprinted.**l There are also some esse n t i a l differences between the two poets. Besides being wider l n scope,;much of Herbert's poetry i s suffused with subtle irony aimed either at himself or at s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s . Grafenauer's work i s devoid o f irony, and h i s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l comments are minimal. He has only one poem which can be interpreted p o l i t i c a l l y . I t has the ambivalent t i t l e "These and These": These walk roads, dust s t i c k s to them l i k e age, these come out of t w i l i g h t 27 and l o i t e r on thresholds. Muddy waters move "by l i k e heavy f l o c k s . But the forest stands as i f drowned. These disappeared i n i t , allowing t h e i r thoughts to take over. These i n masks, faceless, waited f o r them with swords. On rainy nights when l i g h t s are turned out, e v i l images assemble on the circumference of the country preparing I t s e l f f o r new treasons.^ 2 This poem seems to be a comment on the Yugoslav partisan war and on the "new c l a s s " as expounded by Milovan D j l l a s . However, such l i n e s from Grafenauer's poetry as "The country where I walk rots under the feet of strangers"; "The s i c k l e pauses high i n my consciousness";43 "A shadow pursues man l i k e a father's curse i n t h i s country"; "Never can a hand brothered with death as with a sword / subdue these winds...-"^ and "no one pierces the neck of the flycatcher,"^5 allow a number of poems to be read on a s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l l e v e l . These are not unlike Herbert's "Wringer": The i n q u i s i t o r s are i n our midst. The bed-sheets., which they carry out of the wringer-shop, are l i k e empty bodies of witches and heretics.^"" Nevertheless, neither Grafenauer nor Herbert can be compared to such Russian poets as Yevgeny Yevtushenko, 28 who seems to continue the r o l e of the t r a d i t i o n a l Russian poet i n h i s f i g h t against oppression. Yevtushenko*s "Coliseum"**"? reminds the reader more of Spartacus, and Horace speaking of the immortality of the poet, than of the'impersonal' European poets who speak not for man but as men. On the whole, while comparisons can well be made between contemporary Russian poetry, as presented by George Reavey, and contemporary Slovene poetry, Gra-fenauer's l a t e r work has to be seen as an exception. To be sure, there are s i m i l a r i t i e s between Grafenauer and 'the new Russian poets.' Voznesensky, for example, has much of the same kind of idiom as Grafenauer; Sosnora has some of Grafenauer's S u r r e a l i s t imagery. Many poets deal with l o n l i n e s s , p a r t i c u l a r l y Brodski whose ghostly c i t y and landscape imagery resembles Grafenauer's^ But l i k e h i s Slovene contemporaries, these poets are either personal poets expressing despair or hope, or committed ones, s a t i r i z i n g man or r e b e l l i n g against society. According to a recent a r t i c l e by Tsvetan Stoyanov i n Books Abroad, i n Bulgaria there apparently i s no poetry of note comparable to that of the l a t e r Grafenauer. Stoyanov says that a group of poets, who were young boys during the war, began i n the l a t e f i f t i e s to discard the "e x i s t i n g poetic canons and c l i c h e s , " "introduced 29 new themes and problems hitherto unexplored i n Bulgarian l i t e r a t u r e , " "did away with the pomposity and formality which had s t i f l e d many poets of preceding decades," "and restored to poetry i t s intimacy and spontaneity, that immediacy of f e e l i n g which belongs a p r i o r i to poetry." However, Stoyanov adds that Lyubomir Levchev, the repre-sentative of these poets, whose role i s similar to that of Yevtushenko and Voznesensky i n Russia, "stayed within the o p t i m i s t i c tone c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of modern Bulgarian poetry.,.." Stoyanov says that Levchev has been influenced "to a cert a i n extent by the poetry of Mayakovskl, Lorca and T.S. E l i o t . . . b u t he remains true to h i s optimism and never even approaches the morbidity and excessive ambiguity t y p i c a l of a considerable part of the 'associative' poetry of Western l i t e r a t u r e . " Some minor comparisons can be made between Grafenauer and the Czech poet Miroslav Holub. Such l i n e s from Holub as "With mouse-like teeth / the r a i n gnaws at stone," or "The trees parade through the town / l i k e prophets''^^ contain metaphors not unlike Grafenauer's. But on the whole, Holub i s a committed poet who expresses h i s views on a scale which varies from subtle irony to d i r e c t attack. Such l i n e s as the following from Holub's "The Lesson" are never found i n grafenauer's work: 30 Under the classroom door t r i c k l e s a thin stream of blood. Por here begins the massacre of the innocents. S t i l l , regardless of the analogies discussed above, i t i s c h i e f l y when Sl a v i c poetry has the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of We st-European * impersonal' poetry that i t resembles the poetry of the l a t e r Grafenauer. VI GRAFENAUER'S POETRY IN A WEST-EUROPEAN CONTEXT Niko Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry can be best defined i n terms of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of some West-European poets, p a r t i c u l a r l y the German and French N impersonal' poets with whom he has most l n common. The a f f i n i t i e s between Grafenauer and these poets are evident i n h i s themes and form, e s p e c i a l l y some technical devices. Like the poetry of G o t t f r i e d Benn, who i s considered by some the creator of the modernist i d i o m , ^ Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry, although on the whole not hermetic, i s addressed to no one i n p a r t i c u l a r . I t i s not an attempt at communication, but an act of self-comprehension. Paradoxically i t does possess a general appeal to the reader's i n t e l l e c t as well as to h i s emotions. Grafenauer's 31 poems are a record of a fragment of one man's experience. As those of Ezra Pound, they are concise and composed of condensed images. Although he uses much Neosurrealist imagery, as do the German poets who were influenced by Georg I r a k i , h i s poems are not the r e s u l t of 'free associa-t i o n ' as i n the case of Dylan Thomas, or Jean ChStard who claims to do 'automatic writing', but are rather the r e s u l t of design, as i n Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues, Heinz Piontek or Karl Krolow. Like the Imagists and the German and French vimpersonal' poets, he juxtaposes Images i n order to create a special e f f e c t . He chooses h i s words care-f u l l y , as for example Ungaretti does, i n order to make h i s poetry p e l l u c i d and precise. In contrast to the S o c i a l i s t R e a l i s t s , or any other kind of committed poet, for Grafenauer, as for the majority of contemporary European poets, poetry means mainly the creation of a new language; h i s whole poetic process implies a search for the new and the r i g h t word. And l i k e the Anglo-American Imagists, he goes to the 'root of the thing* i n h i s search f o r the 'mot juste.' Although he attempts to stretch the l i m i t s of language by naming what "has no name w53 a s G u i l l e v i c does, or by talking about the • ,unsayable w^ l i k e Ingeborg 32 Bachmann, h i s poetry i s as simple and modest as that of Rene' Guy Cadou.-^ Like Krolow, who l i v e s only "In the company of a few / Disobedient words,"~*6 or Benn for whom "the man of today" means "Crises of expression and bouts of eroticism,"57 Grafenauer experiences h i s "deadly c r i s i s " when "language too r e v o l t s . " - ^ Yet he continues to depict the world about him or rather to create h i s own r e a l i t y , endeavouring to write as fa r away from himself as possible. Like the Imaglsts, he s t r i v e s for detached and impartial des-c r i p t i o n . But compared to the t r a d i t i o n a l poets, as well as h i s own early poetry where he i s "strong l n the mouth,"59 Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry comes to l i f e through h i s " s k i l f u l l hand." 6 0 Like Cadou f o r whom "at a s l i d e of [his] open hand / Dark s i l e n t things r e l i v e " 6 1 or Andre' du Bouchet who goes "no farther than [his] paper" 6 2 l n the act of creation, Grafenauer uncoils outcries which r i s e "into emptiness n 63 l i k e a whip" "from beneath [hi sj cool f i n g e r s . " Like most of the 'impersonal' poets, Grafenauer employs pre-dominantly nature imagery i n h i s treatment of the contemporary man and h i s world; but as i s often the case i n Imagist and contemporary French and German poetry, espe c i a l l y that of Paul Celan, the concerns of Grafenauer's 33 l a t e r poetry are Im p l i c i t rather than e x p l i c i t . Grafenauer's major concerns are man's e x i s t e n t i a l and alienated p o s i t i o n i n the world and h i s r e l a t i o n -ship with himself, other men and nature. These concerns or themes can be discussed under the following three headings: the " I , " existentialism, and a l i e n a t i o n . THE " I " One of Grafenauer's foremost concerns i s the onto-l o g i c a l problem of the " I . " This concern i s noticeable throughout h i s l a t e r poetry and i s exemplified i n h i s persistent use of the second person singular pronoun "you"to denote h i s persona. Grafenauer's "you" stands for man's mythical, I n t e l l e c t u a l and emotional concept of himself as i t was sanctioned by Western t r a d i t i o n . I t i s Rimbaud's 'un autre,' except that compared to Rimbaud's •another s e l f , ' which has Pythagorean c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and which i s , a f t e r Descart, apparently located i n the mind, Grafenauer's ' s e l f assumes no metaphysical proportions, has no p a r t i c u l a r l o c a t i o n and comprises merely the persona's whole being. Thus, Grafenauer's persona has '•grown intoDLts] skin that becomes/flabbier every day";^ i t waits "within [ i t s e l f ] l i k e a sentry"; 6^ i t s % a m e narrows i n the dark";66 _ t s "skin s i l e n t l y l a u g h s " ^ or 6fi -i "experiences i t s shudder"; "A s t i l l flame gnaws [it] under the s k l n " ; 6 9 and i t i s "trapped into t h i s to-be-outside-yourself-alone." To be sure, Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry i s not devoid 34 of "stubborn forms."?! In "Rebirth" Plato Is s t i l l l n h i s "hand, alone, as i f he combined everything / glued into a slime of ideas where a b l i n d b i r d / l i k e a blaze grasps out of the dark,"? 2 but already i n t h i s poem "the dizzy consciousness returns to nature," and i n "I Am," the most declaratory poem of h i s l a t e r poetry, Descartes' "thought" becomes "pain." The central l i n e of the l a t t e r poem "The pain that I am 73 enters into me l i k e a k n i f e " epitomizes Grafenauer's stand on the ontologlcal problem of the " I " — p a i n , rather than thought, makes Grafenauer's man aware of hi s existence. Grafenauer's concern with the i d e n t i t y of the " I , " which has occupied poets and philosophers since Pythagoras, i s also the concern of a number of other modern and contemporary poets, including the Spanish. Like Grafenauer's, Valejo's persona " s h a l l not succeed i n freeing i t s e l f " ; 74 Neruda's " r o l l e d over dying of i t s own death";75 ana that of Octavio Paz looks at i t s e l f , and what i t sees i s — a c c o r d i n g to con-temporary e x i s t e n t i a l p h i l o s o p h y — i t s "own creation. "7< EXISTENTIALISM Like most contemporary West-European poetry, 35 Grafenauer's work Is suffused with e x i s t e n t i a l and s o l i p s i s t i c philosophy. This i s exemplified either i n declaratory s t a t e m e n t s — p a r t i c u l a r l y before the middle of Language Under Pressure—and/or i n a more subtle treatment of such topics as emptiness, silence, darkness and disintegration-?-poetic symbols of a universe devoid of supernatural manifestations. Like the personae of most poets since Nietzsche, Grafenauer's man i s "here-to-the-end-alone";^7 fce loses "as long as (he] can stand somewhere"; ^  "only death separates [him] from emptiness";^ and i n On the  Eve of a Holiday he even ventures to u t t e r : " t h i s l a s t thing that glows, I am: — g o d ! " ^ Like Valery's Paust who sees "nothing a l i v e " above or below the "debris that coats the earth,"® 1 Grafenauer's man i s the sole creator of h i s own r e a l i t y and a believer i n h i s own experience only. He knows that under the sky "any escape Is Impossible...but i t i s important O n to have s u f f i c i e n t f u e l / for the whole long winter" because "he who has nothing else q u i e t l y f r e e z e s . " ^ Por Grafenauer's man—as for that of Heinz Piontek 84 to whom "a spider spins i t s thread into emptiness" "disarmed winds flow ...along the grey emptiness of the gods / that resounds l i k e thunder";®5 «»at t w i l i g h t winds hang l i k e empty sleeves";^and "the truce begun 36 i n emptiness gives way."87 As for Karl Krolow's man to whom " s t i l l n e s s comes with wings,"®^ or Plontek's for whom w a l i g h t f a n t a s t i c silence runs l i k e coolness o f f the walls," 8 9 f o r Grafenaueris man "silence t r i c k l e s " "the a i r i s f u l l of s i l e n t exertion of birds";9 1 "a flower blooms into the deaf time";92 H a w o r m dangles on a thin s p i t t l e Into the s t i l l n e s s " ; 9 3 "the flames quiver l i k e mute moths";^ " s i l e n t l y pours the scurf of the dead";95 and "darkness i s l i k e p i t c h heaped i n the silence / pouring over jhiml".^ 6 Like Krolow's man who sees "Darkness fremblej i t s l i p s " ; ^ G o t t f r i e d 98 Benn's man who looks "into the night's Jaws"; °* Georg Trakl's "dying warriors" whom "night embraces,"99 Grafenauer's man s t a r t s "slowly descending / under the surface, the sweet, soft step / into the quiet, open n i g h t " ; 1 0 0 "a l i c k i n g flame [chases himj into dark-n e s s " ; 1 0 1 "blindness spreads before [himj l i k e an i n -f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t y " ; 1 0 2 and h i s " s p i r i t bars i t s e l f into the d a r k . " 1 0 3 Grafenauer's man who already i n On the Eve of a  Holiday r e a l i z e s that "disintegration i s the f i n a l aim of e v e r y t h i n g , " 1 0 ^ continues i n h i s l a t e r poetry, to "take over the fleetingness of shadows" 1°5 and watches with Georg Trakl's man "transient images go unde r . " 1 0 6 37 He is aware of the atomistic nature of his universe and sees the "dust at the climax when i t passes from i t s e l f into emptiness, / but at the same moment sprawls again into i t s e l f , / as i f burdened by a weight";10'' and he projects himself into the time when "a heavy eyelid closes over jhimj and never opens again"; 1 0** when "a blade of grass / w i l l sprout in {his) eye"; 1 0^ and "a stone (will grow) in |Ki^ empty hand," 1 1 0 Like Dylan Thomas* persona who in "Pern H i l l " i s 'green and dying,' Grafenauer's man knows that "by taking you, the earth submits." 1 1 1 Bit this realization partly contributes to his alienation. ALIENATION Grafenauer's existentialism also forms part of his alienation theme*. This theme is further exemplified in his color,, sound,, smell, city and nature imagery, as well as in the treatment1 of such topics as loneliness, fatigue, dryness and paralysis. Grafenauer's later poetry knows no colors, except those of night, twilight, shadows, and those evoked by such phrases as "greening silence," "brown fog," "pale streak" as well ss other descriptions without the use of epithets. Light appears in Grafenauer's later poetry very seldom, and then mainly in streaks or 38 o r b e a m s . I n o n e c a s e " f u l l f i s t s o f l i g h t h i s s t h r o u g h 112 t h e b r a n c h e s a n d s t r i k e h i m i n t h e f a c e . " The same a p p l i e s t o s o u n d . G r a f e n a u e r ' s l a t e r p o e t r y t a k e s p l a c e p r e d o m i n a n t l y l n s i l e n c e . T h e r e a r e , , h o w e v e r , a n u m b e r o f p a r t i c u l a r s o u n d s o r n o i s e s w h i c h " f l a p 113 u p o n c e i n a w h i l e " t h r o u g h o u t h i s l a t e r p o e t r y . The m o s t common a m o n g t h e m a r e " h i s s i n g , " " r u s t l i n g , " " c l i c k i n g , " " d r o n i n g , " " c r a c k l i n g " a n d " s q u e a l i n g . " I n a d d i t i o n , s y n e s t h e s i a i s p r o d u c e d b y s u c h p h r a s e s a s " s i l e n t , " " d u m b , " a n d " m u f f l e d l a u g h t e r , " " m u t t e r s e m p t i l y , " " s i l e n t l y p o u r s , " " a h e a v y u p r u s h o f a i r , " a n d " m u t e m o t i o n s , " - . The human v o i c e h a s i n G r a f e n a u e r ' s l a t e r p o e t r y t h e same k i n d o f r e l a t i o n s h i p t o s o u n d a s l i g h t h a s t o d a r k n e s s o r t w i l i g h t . I t i s e x e m p l i f i e d o n l y i n " o u t c r i e s " w h i c h c u t o c c a s i o n a l l y i n t o t h e s i l e n c e w i t h w h i c h G r a f e n a u e r ' s man I s " a r c h e d . " H 4 E x c e p t f o r t h e " s c e n t o f t h e s o i l " w h i c h " l i c k s " G r a f -e n a u e r ' s m a n " n o w a n d t h e n , " 1 1 ^ t h e m o s t common s m e l l e p i t h e t s o f G r a f e n a u e r ' s l a t e r p o e t r y a r e t h o s e w h i c h d e n o t e d e c a y . P r e v a l e n t a m o n g t h e m a r e t h e a d j e c t i v e s " r o t t e n , " " s o u r , " a n d " m o u l d y , " a s w e l l a s t h e i r d e r i v a t i v e s . The c o l o r , s o u n d , a n d s m e l l i m a g e r y o f G r a f e n a u e r ' s l a t e r p o e t r y i n t e n s i f i e s t h e l o n e l i n e s s o f h i s p e r s o n a . 39 Like the personae of most West-European poets since Baudelaire, Grafenauer's man i s a lonely man. More-over, he seeks no human contact. He, who i n On the  Eve of a Holiday i s "alone, with a heart bloating l i k e a f r u i t , " 1 - 6 l s i n Language Under Pressure "gnawed by l o n e l i n e s s " which " r o l l s over {him| l i k e a b o u l d e r , " 1 1 ^ and i n "Drawings" he i s s t i l l "alone among dispersed winds as though at a roadless crossing" 1 1®—"Wherever [he reaches, he is] a l o n e . " 1 1 9 i n silence and darkness— or at most i n t w i l i g h t — h e walks through the "black canyons" 1 2 0 of h i s c i t y "made f l a t by the f a l l i n g 121 snow," and watches h i s "shadow wavering on the 122 wall l i k e a spectre." Like that of Georg Heym, the c i t y of Grafenauer's man i s inhabited by strangers, t h e i r shadows, t h e i r dead and t h e i r antagonistic objects. Thus, Grafenauer's man h a l t s "on the empty square... amid the habits of foreign people" J whose "shadows cross on the damp ground l i k e swords," 1 2^ and whose "gallows stand i n [his] memory l i k e an empty door"; "the dead," who "are l i k e weight," keep Grafenauer's man company, be i t i n h i s c i t y , so "(he i s j n o t alone, w l 2 6 or "beneath the cover of the earth to warn the l i v i n g . " 1 27 During h i s wanderings through the "dark city,"I 2® "smeared by a slimy weight that drags (hin|, " 1 2 9 "fatigue ko i l l u m i n e s |hlnj) s o m e t i m e s , " l 3 ° o r i t " f a l l s o n [ h i s j l i m b s a s t h o u g h t h e y w e r e d a r k e n i n g " ; 1 3 1 t h e d r y n e s s o f t h e Waste L a n d " f l o o d s (his) m o u t h a n d s l o w l y c h o k e s (him], " l 3 2 so h i s " t o n g u e p r o t r u d e s f r o m ( h i s ] m o u t h l i k e a swarm o f b l a c k f l i e s " ; 1 3 3 a n d " a g l o o m y i m m o b i l i t y w e i g h s (him} down,-"134 g o n e " J i p r e a d s h i s | h i s t o r y numb a s i n a m b e r . w l 3 5 AS G e o r g Heym's p e r s o n a who " l o o k s a n g r i l y a t w h e r e f a r away i n s o l i t u d e t h e l a s t h o u s e s s t r a y i n t o t h e c o u n t r y , " 1 3 6 G r a f e n a u e n * s man f l e e s f r o m " t h i s c i t y " w h i c h " i s c l o s e r t o d e a t h t h a n t o t r u t h , w l 3 7 a n d s e e k s c o n s o l a t i o n i n n a t u r e ; b u t h i s l a n d s c a p e b e c o m e s " a b l a n k e t d r a w n o v e r t h e d e a d , " a n d a s d e s o l a t e , d r y a n d s t e r i l e a s t h a t o f N e r v a l , M a l l a r m e V T.S. E l i o t , , M o n t a l e a s w e l l a s n u m e r o u s W e s t - E u r o p e a n i m p e r s o n a l p o e t s who, s i n c e R i l k e , h a v e t u r n e d t o n a t u r e f o r t h e m a i n s o u r c e o f t h e i r i m a g e r y . G r a f e n a u e r ' s a l i e n a t i o n theme, h o w e v e r , i s n o t c o m p a t i b l e w i t h h i s l a t e r f o r m s , : w h i c h , a s h a s b e e n p o i n t e d o u t , mean a r e t u r n t o t r a d i t i o n . G r a f e n a u e r ; ' s t r a d i t i o n a l p o e t i c f o r m s , o r r a t h e r t h o s e f o r m s w h i c h t h e E x p r e s s i o n i s t s b e g a n t o u s e a s a r e a c t i o n , t a g a i n s t t h e F u t u r i s t ' d e - p o e t i z a t l o n * o f p o e t r y , , a r e s i m i l a r , f o r e x a m p l e , t o t h o s e u s e d b y N e r v a l i n " F a n t a i s l e , w l 3 8 R a i n e r M a r i e R i l k e i n " D i e E r b l i n d e n d e , w l 3 9 P a u l : 2ech l n "Das G r u b e n p f e r d , f 1 ^ 0 41 Georg Heym in wDer Gott der S t a d t , n X M a and especially to that used by Alfonso Gatto in w E r b a e latte, "li*'2 and Paul Celan in "Ieh bin a l l e i n . " 1 ^ On the whole, the forms used by the West-European*impersonal' poets compare well to those used by Grafenauer before: his "Rebirth" In the middle of Language Under Pressure whereas his consistent use of more restricted forms from this point onwards makes his later poetry unique and adds a special feature to his style. VII GRAFENAUER'S STILE Much of what has been discussed so far concerns Grafenauer's style. In this section, therefore, at-tention w i l l be given to those s t y l i s t i c features which i t was not possible to discuss previously and/or those which make his later work unique. The most appropriate term for Grafenauer's later poetry as far as style i s concerned i s the label "impersonal"*in the sense in which i t has been applied to the work of those German and French poets who have been influenced by Gottfried Benn and Rene Guy Cadou. It i s the style of poetry practiced predominantly during the f i f t i e s and sixties i n Germany and France 42 and represented mainly by Karl Krolow and Ives Bonnefoy. Its beginnings, however, reach to pre-World War II times,, when Benn and Cadou did most of their writings, and when the work of such poets as Lehmann, 144 Ponge, Pollain and Michaux began to appear. In 1952 Joseph Ghiari says of Henri Michaux, for example, that he i s a "poet"whom one cannot link up with any tradition or group," that he " i s above a l l a witness l4*> of his time," J and that he "believes only in sub-jective r e a l i t y " and "refuses to accepti: anything which i s not: personal experience." 1^ 6 In his. introduction tor> Contemporary French Poetry. Alexander Aspel defines the poets of his anthology as "impersonal,, yet subjedtive—passionate, fascinated, or simply waking—witnesses of man's fate4**? These are the poets,, who, in the words of Gottfried Benn, strive for the "ideal poem," that i s "'the absolute poem, the poem without faith, the poem without hope, the poem addressed to no one, the poem made of words which you assemble in a fascinating way.'"-1- Much of Benn's poetry and c r i t i c a l writing i s concerned with the 'impersonal* nature of poetry, or rather with the "lost ego," "lost identity," "the loss of 149 the l y r i o a l ' I * " in modern poetry. .Patrick 43 Bridgwater compares Benn's poetry to "what T;S. E l i o t c a l l s the ' f i r s t v o i c e , ' h 1 5 ° as distinguished from that of the "'second voice*" 1 5 1 , for example B r e c h t ' s 1 ^ 2 which " i s addressed to an audience...and i s by d e f i n i -tion not wholly undldactic."153 As a matter of f a c t , Brecht says that the main r o l e of the a r t i s t i s to teach, besides e n t e r t a i n i n g . 1 ^ * In the introduction to Contemporary German Poetry, edited and translated by Gertrude Clorius Schwebell, V i c t o r Lange says that the poetry of G o t t f r i e d Benn has the character of a "private and reserved monologue"155 an<_ an "esoteric aloofness, w l 5 6 that i t "indicates an extreme resistance to i n d i v i d u a l Involvement i n the vagaries of history...", and that "Benn i s e n t i r e l y preoccupied with the synthetic capacities of the poetic process, that i s to say, with the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of finding compelling forms of speech by which the poetic i n t e l l i g e n c e can preserve i t s e l f a l e r t and detached as a recorder of det a i l e d and fragmented images. n l 57 Lange considers "Gottfried Benn, i n many ways the most widely i n f l u e n t i a l modern German p o e t . . . " 1 5 8 and makes the following comments on the nature poets influenced by G o t t f r i e d Benn i n Schwebell's anthology: The success of these German "nature" p o e t s — t h e term i s an ambiguous and misleading o n e — i s due to 44 their refusal to Indulge in either bucolic genre sketches or in pseudo-metaphysical effusiveness. They are seldom deceived as to the intellectual distance of the modern poet from the i d y l l i c song or the en-thusiastic ode; for i t i s not i t s sentimentality but a high degree of deliberate a r t i f i c e that characterizes the most interesting of this recent nature poetry.... At i t s best, contemporary German nature poetry what-ever i t s metaphors i s , for this reason and others, not straight-forward or photographic but "abstract": i t conveys a multidimensional view of the world that the human being must consider more as a projection than a reliable chart. Nothing i s more characteristic of the best poets in this anthology than their accept-ance of a r e f l e c t i v e — a s against a prescriptive—role, and their refusal, therefore, to teach, admonish, or deplore. The poet i s a solitary figure who w i l l neither affirm—unless i t be in an authoritarian Marxist context— nor profitably attack, but Illuminates the conditions, natural or cultural, of his l i f e . I t i s characteristic of the younger German poets that; even when they speak, often in strident tones, of their distaste for the contemporary scene, and their distrust of a l l proffered forms of social harmony, they do so without self-importance, without pathos, and above a l l without the Utopian fervor of their Expressionist predecessors. 159 Karl Krolow says of the "new German nature poetry" that i t "presents conditions, instead of reactions." 1** 0 When talking about Benn's 'absolute language,' Rudolf Nlkolaus Maler says: Absolute language i s loveless. The thing entangled in I t s e l f rejects man; i t raises the claim of managing without him. Such claim prevents any ethical attitude. Autonomous language i s devoid of posture (gebfirde). Hence i t s tendency towards the inhuman and impersonal. What Aspel, Benn, E l i o t ^ Bridgwater, Lange, Krolow and Maler talk about;is what Marcel Raymond refers to in his ^e Baudelaire au SurrealIsme when he suggests 45 that the poet's " f i r s t condition i s to forget one-s e l f , to break the l i m i t s of the s e l f , and to go beyond personal l y r i c i s m . " Raymond, for whom the 'ideal poem' means "an object exi s t i n g for i t s e l f , without r e l a t i o n to i t s creator, h i s sentiments, or states of mind," 1 6 2 sees the seeds of contemporary West-European 'impersonal* poetry i n a number of French l i t e r a r y move-ments of the f i r s t h a l f of the twentieth century. The *impersonal* poetic style i s marked by an e c l e c t i c trend. I t i s a synthesis of the Imagist, Expressionist and S u r r e a l i s t styles which combined into a unique poetic idiom, often referred to as the 'modernistic idiom.' The main features the 'Impersonal' poets took from t h e i r predecessors are the Imagists' s t r i v i n g for detached and impartial presentation of imagery, the Expressionists' s u b j e c t i v i t y , and the S u r r e a l i s t s ' probing into various spheres of the human consciousness as well as t h e i r language experimentation. Thus, modernistic poetry i s 'impersonal', yet subjective; i t l acks the Imagists' pretense at o b j e c t i v i t y as well as the Expressionist moralizing content; and i t i s characterized by i t s deviation from ordinary speech i n i t s presentation of imagery deriving from the subconscious. The apparent paradox i n the phrase 46 'impersonal, yet subjective,' somewhat diminishes i f the r e l a t i v e nature of these two epithets i s kept i n mind and i f 'impersonal' poetry i s compared to the t r a d i t i o n a l European melancholy longing, to the loose romantic emotionalism, to confessional, self-indulgent, s e l f - a s s e r t i n g , p r e s c r i p t i v e , i n c l t i v e , s a t i r i c a l , or any kind of committed poetry. In addition, 'impersonal' poetry deals with universal, rather than personal, • cosmopolitan, rather than parochial concerns. The main aim of the 'impersonal' style Is 'pure* or 'absolute* poetry. This implies a search for truth as well as an attempt to induce a t h r i l l ; but i n order to achieve both, truth must remain "at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y c l o t h e d . 1 , 1 6 : 3 Within the framework of contemporary West-European poetry Grafenauer's l a t e r work i s quite unique f o r i t s accumulation of morbid imagery, f o r i t s persistence i n the employment of the second person singular to denote i t s persona, f o r i t s one-word t i t l e s , and for i t s consistent use of r e s t r i c t e d stanzaic forms. In addition,- i t i s distinguished by an abundant use of the simile. Compared to most German 'impersonal' poets who since the "Duino Elegies" have been s t r i v i n g towards the "absolute metaphor, wl64 Grafenauer employs the simile to a large extent. His poetry abounds in the operators " l i k e , " "as," and "as though," which make his poems direct and concrete. The combination of these features makes Grafenauer's later work highly 'impersonal' even within the framework of West-European ^Impersonal' poetry. I t i s mainly due to his'impersonality' and the accumulation of imagery suggesting alienation and disintegration that much of Yugoslav criticism i s directed against his later poetry. VIII YUGOSLAV CRITICISM OP GRAFENAUER'S POETRY Although Yugoslav c r i t i c s give Grafenauer credit for his sensibility, f a c i l i t y of expression, his met-aphorical language, and other poetic a b i l i t i e s , most of them see his later: poetry as a negative phenomenon. Their main reasons for this a r e — i n their own words— Grafenauer's "alienated" and "existential stand," his "solipsism," "narcissism," "self^-feeling," and "self-enjoyment," his "lack of social comment" and "lack of solutions," his "coldness," the "narrowness of his themes," and his "proneness to native and foreign influence." Not a l l of them agree on a l l points, however. Most c r i t i c s are of the opinion that Gott-48 f r i e d Benn i s Grafenauer's "god-father," that Heidegger influenced h i s philosophy, and that Gregor S t r a i s a i s h i s main native influence, but they present opposing views when they discuss the character of Grafenauer's poetry and h i s treatment of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of com-munication. While France ForstneriS, Taras Kermavner and France Vurnik state that Grafenauer's poetry "has not"been experienced," that " i t l a c k s emotion," and that " i t i s the work of the head rather than of the h e a r t , " ^ ^ M i l i v o j e MarkovlS and Herman Vogel emphasize the "poet's powerful emotions," "his inner tensions," and "the a r t i s t i c force" which "give r i s e to such emotional p o e t r y . " l 6 ^ While Boris Paternu, the most authoritative Slovene c r i t i c , implies that i n Language  Under Pressure, whose l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n i s "The C r i s i s of Language," Grafenauer's main problem i s h i s "own c r i s i s , " that i s , he has nothing to say1**? (Kermavner repeats approximately the same thing i n h i s discussion of On the Eve of a Holiday). Vogel and Markovld deal at great length with Grafenauer's main concern i n Language Under Pressure, they stress the need to deal with the d i f f i c u l t i e s of communication i n our world, they say Grafenauer i s concerned with " v i t a l issues," and they consider him a "true representative k9 of his age." 1 6^ France ForstneriS also considers Grafenauer "a convincing poetic herald of his own generation," but he, l i k e vurnik, thinks that to write about alienation means to "alienate oneself," that i s , "to foster alienation," 1'' 0 ForstneriS, Vurnlk, Paternu and Kermavner in general assume a negative attitude towards Grafenauer's later poetry. In the li g h t of the available sources, i t becomes evident, however, that Niko Grafenauer occupies a unique and important position in contemporary Slovene poetry. Besides having introduced into Slovene poetry a high degree of'impersonality'and an aggregate of imagery suggesting the morbid state of mind of modern man, he forms a significant link between those poets who re-introduced personal concerns into post-World War II Slovene poetry and the appearance of Reistlc, or rather Neofuturist and Neodadalst poetry in recent years. It i s the kind of poetry represented by Dane Zajc, Niko Grafenauer and Tbmaz Salamun that paved the way for the appearance, in Slovene print lately, of modes of expression unthinkable a decade ago. Vladimir Jerman's "Kava denikotin" (Deniootlnized Coffee) in a recent issue of Probleml i s a good example of this. This poem contains, among various avantgarde statements, 50 a corruption of Ivan Cankar's 'sacred* words "Home-land, you are l i k e health,". Jerman changes these to: o homeland you are l i k e a whore 17 1 Hegardless of i t s aesthetic value, such a statement pre-supposes greater freedom of expression for the Slovene a r t i s t . During recent; years Yugoslav criticism has been moving rapidly away from the generalizing dogmatic to the less normative analytical method of criticism. In respect to their didacticism, there i s only a difference in degree between these two methods, as there i s between analytical and comparative criticism. With his later poetry Niko Grafenauer has joined those poets who endeavor not to influence the reader's point of view. Perhaps the c r i t i c too w i l l one day devise a method of criticism whereby the imposition of his 51 views on the reader w i l l be reduced to a minimum. IX CONCLUSION During the l a s t twenty years most of the poetic techniques, themes and forms which were almost absent from Slovene poetry i n the period of S o c i a l i s t Realism have been re-introduced. In addition,-a number of other s t y l e s , such as the * impersonal', the r e i s t i c , and that of those committed poets who combine Benn's and Brecht's techniques, have been introduced into Slovene poetry. The c r e d i t f o r the introduction of the 'impersonal' poetic style i s due mainly to Niko Grafenauer. Grafenauer i s an o r i g i n a l , sensitive, cerebral and emotive poet capable of producing manifold conglomera-tions of metaphors and similes suggesting the state of mind of modern man. His poetry has developed from the t r a d i t i o n a l Slovene Neoromantiolsm and Neoexpres-sionism to the vimpersonal' poetry which has been predominant-l y practiced during the l a s t twenty years i n Western Europe. While h i s work up to h i s "Rebirth" i n the middle of Language Under Pressure compares well, on the whole, with contemporary Slovene and Slavic poetry, 52 p a r t i c u l a r l y that of Zbigniev Herbert, from t h i s point onwards i t i s more comparable to modern and contemporary West-European poetry, e s p e c i a l l y that of the German and French 'impersonal' poets with whom he has most i n common. The a f f i n i t y between Grafenauer and the l a t t e r poets i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n h i s technique and themes. Like that of the'impersonal'poets, Grafenauer's technique implies a detached and Impartial, yet sub-j e c t i v e description of the world about him; h i s themes suggest a concern with man's e x i s t e n t i a l and alienated position i n the world, and the r e l a t i o n s h i p with him-s e l f , other men and nature. This concern i s exemplified i n h i s treatment of such topics as silence, l o n e l i n e s s , darkness, emptiness, disintegration, dryness, fatigue, gloom, the ontological problem of the " I , " the d i f f i c u l t i e s of communication, the potential e x p r e s s i b i l i t y of lang-uage, and the creative process. Like much contemporary West-European poetry, Grafenauer's poetry takes place i n silence and t w i l i g h t or darkness. His man i s aware of h i s e x i s t e n t i a l p o s i t i o n and assumes either an antagonistic or an i n d i f f e r e n t attitude towards h i s world. Grafenauer's perseverance i n the employment i n h i s l a t e r work of techniques most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of'impersonal' poetry and h i s i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of morbid 53 Imagery make his poetry from the middle of Language  Under Pressure onwards unique. Although much Yugoslav criticism i s directed against Grafenauer's later poetry, he deserves credit for helping pave the way for greater freedom of expression In Yugoslav print and for introduc-ing into Slovene poetry a style whose aim i s 'pure' or 'absolute' poetry. Grafenauer's merit i s exemplified in Condition. Condition i s a selection of Grafenauer's later poetry prepared especially for publication ln English. I t has been oompiled and translated ln collaboration with the author and under the supervision of Michael Bullock, Michael J . Yates and Professor Zbigniev Polejewskl. Professor Joseph Paternost of Pennsylvania State University has kindly consented to check the accuracy of the translation. Condition consists of fifty-two poems divided into eight cycles entitled "Traces on the Skin," "A Blade Across the Eyes," "The Trap," "Images," "Elohlm," "Condition," " S t i l l - L i f e , " and "Drawings." The f i r s t five cycles come from Language  Under Pressure: the last three have not yet appeared in book form. While the la s t five cycles have been included Intact, the poems in the f i r s t two have been selected from the f i r s t half of Language Under Pressure 54 and p a r t i a l l y re-grouped. Nevertheless, a l l poems remain i n chronological order. In the selection of the poems the aesthetic, s t y l i s t i c and thematic c r i t e r i o n has been applied. Thus, no poem from On the Eve of a Holiday has been included i n t h i s s e l e c t i o n . Condition forms a whole and comprises Grafenauer's best work. The author expects to publish h i s poems i n t h i s form also i n Slovenian. In tr a n s l a t i n g t h i s selection, the p r i n c i p l e of "olosest approximation" has been adhered to. I t i s hoped that most q u a l i t i e s of the o r i g i n a l have been transcribed or substituted i n one way or another i n English. Most of what has been said about Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry applies also to Condition. But aesthetic a t t r i b u t e s are the ultimate q u a l i t y of h i s poetry. PART TWO CONDITION traces on the skin 5 7 THE WALK Slowly, as I f v e i l e d by a dying urge, I walk among sombre winds that bar my way. Sometimes fatigue illumines me l i k e a dark flame. Tree-roots clench a handful of earth. Owls shudder i n th e i r sleep l i k e heavy clocks and t h e i r wailing c r i e s f l a i l into the night. Summer i s a vigorous s t i r of l i g h t . Phantoms bloom i n a long beam. 58 TIME AND: PALL. You l i v e among discordant layers of time and break the shoulders of l i g h t that lashes you; the alien window where you press your cheek i s coming into sight; only death separates you from emptiness. Then the earth softly stirs: and with muffled laughter shakes off the l a s t cry wavering in the heavy up rush of a i r . 59 THE HOUSE The house where you think things oven i s growing tense l i k e a darkening day* Memories close in as i f you were dying with gloomy dignity. Silence shines upon the Immobility you take from the dead. Loneliness gnaws you l i k e verdigris. In the narrow crack of permitted consciousness projecting i t s e l f l i k e a beam into dusk, moths quiver; Love throws your enlarged shadow against the wall. With a clammy key I step towards the threshold. I c a l l from the verge of black forebodings into emptiness* Silence i s your language. I grow quiet,, but within me, as in late autumn, sounds flutter, almost tears. The house where you think things over i s l i k e the beginning of a l l that goes away. NIGHT: 60 You approach by the road running into you li k e a sword. Peace surrounds you with a l l that i t conceals. l i k e invisible company. The shadow sitting in you ve i l s your every thought. Behind you li k e doom steals autumn which comes with conviction and thunder on i t s tongue. Silence c a l l s you by what you are, not by a name. The world gives up i t s contours and steps out of i t s e l f towards night into the opening place of:horror. You are alone at i t s bottom crossed out by the owl's eye following you l i k e the grain of truth in the wisdom of the dead. I accept you, surrounded by my habits as by lynxes. When you reach me, i t i s night. 6i THE SPEECH OP SILENCE Stubborn forms s t i l l ! subdue you and a l l that i s ancient in you, I mean these dark forces f u l l of passionate spittle and feverish night sweat that burn in gusts of confusion l i k e a shudder; and then you are so unencumbered when you walk without:peace through the dark city flattened by the f a l l i n g snow, you can sing within l i k e a hard crust of bread in a bony f i s t . . Sometimes a black s l i t yawns on the wall and through i t comes the smell of mould, winter f r u i t , urine and homeliness and slowly disperses in the b r i s t l i n g cold. They accompany you Into the deaf underworld of earth 62 with the words you drank from a l l your l i f e and now too when the moist eyelid rises slowly and beneath i t the hunger of the earth gapes at you. no man has spoken of. i t yet.. because with i t only shadows talk. yet that moment of parting rings out louder than a l l the r e s t — the speech of silence. 63 EVENING Wearily the mud parts i t s dead eyelids, behind them, as though darkness were f a l l i n g , the truce begun i n emptiness gives way, the smoking rays of wind are born of words that stand f o r them and die on the b r i s t l i n g ground, silence echoes around and the evening stops l i k e a motionless thrust into wood f u l l of unspoken threats. 6U DOWNHILL The moss i s l i k e a carpet: of ants. I t grows over your mouth so you face the world speechless. Peace slowly covers you l i k e the evening snow. The hand quietly loosens itB grip,, the heavy hand on earth; i t parts with autumn swarming with l i v i n g brown, and Its narrow shadow brings to l i f e threatening scenes* Fog i s coming down, the dear fog of this world; man has to be so cautious* When the dead bell t o l l s i t s hour, measuring out the fate of. the l i v i n g , you gaze at the ground blossoming at your feet; Slowly you start descending under the surface, the sweet, soft step into the open quiet nights 65 HATE Hate, grows l i k e the shadow of a mountain towards evening* In an invisible blaze i t : twists things* Madness l i c k s consciousness l i k e smoke* In twilight clairvoyants are crowned with the effort of; their whole l i f e . Chained between silence and fasting they read the world l i k e the palms of their.hands. I t i s terrible,, when I consider l t , s to depart^ during sleep without any weight, without resistance l i k e beauty,, when I consider i t , , after a l l , in spite of the dead, man has experienced nothing. 66 THE CHAP TEE The wrinkled face i s veiled by corrosive winds f u l l , of constant solitude weighing on i t s every move as words withheld weigh on the attentive ear; out of the moist consciousness rises a shadow and begins to rule through the power of a name. The image abandons the fleeing birds carried by a dying Impulse on the high,, dead point of a i r . In the emptiness that follows the unexpected f a l l f u l l of dread silence l i k e a precipice, they c a l l each other without an echo. Slowly memory opens on the face fixed ln immobility, as in the deaf glare of history we use to justify our acts, and illuminates the darkest chapter. a b l a d e a c r o s s t h e e y e s 68 PATE You stand l i k e a dark streak in the winds. The past i s forgotten to the point where night blends with things. A swift serpent's head rises quickly and sways before your eyes. When i t curls out of the ashes in the darkening air, you can hear the soft rustling. You walk, engulfed by the smell of soi l as by a lick i n g flame chasing you into darkness. Within i t heavy blades guard the burned dust of the dead. You occupy a l l shadows and abandon your image. Memory f a i l s . A blade of grass springs from i t and stops in the winds. Serpents lay their heads on the boulder and c o i l up into dark plots. A heavy f r u i t f a l l s l i k e a bird into the gaping jaw. Soundlessly the heavy blades move lighting up l i k e a sharp cry in the dark, and thus pass the years. 69 ST.. JEROME Exhaustion l i c k s your every move. The desert i s f u l l of blazing apparitions. A curse gathers i n your mouth li k e bitter slime. Dust covers you darker and darker when you descend and a shadow f a l l s into the dry silence lighting you up as though with a sombre flame. You remain motionless l i k e everything to which you return. Then St. Jerome comes with the lions, he who has his own thoughts* 70 A WINTER POEM You are alone In the cold cavern of winter f u l l of gloomy stains and glazing lichens. Home i s when i t grabs you by the neck, as you are leaving* Then night blocks your way l i k e a precipice that a blind man stares into as long as he l i v e s . You never cross the threshold sleeked down by the feet of ancestors. Lizards l i e upon i t l i k e dead streaks. Wherever you turn you face slimy snow into which your dark figure w i l l one day be imprinted. 71 THESE AND THESE These walk roads, dust s t i c k s to them l i k e age, these come out of the dusk and l o i t e r on thresholds* Muddy waters move by l i k e heavy f l o c k s . But the f o r e s t stands as i f drowned. These disappeared i n i t , allowing t h e i r thoughts to take over. These i n masks, faceless, waited f o r them with swords. Oh rainy nights when l i g h t s are turned out, e v i l images assemble on the circumference of the country preparing i t s e l f f o r new treasons. 72 A BLADE ACROSS THE EYES A cool blade across the eyes and you see: the world i s l i k e memory growing dark on the horizon. You lose as long as you can stand somewhere. When you f a l l you lose everything, and yourself. Insects grow over you. A blade of grass sprouts i n your eye. By taking you, the earth submits. Darkness i s l i k e p i t c h heaped i n the silence pouring over you. 9 73 REBIRTH 1 After every c r i s i s the world twists i t s sneer. The so i l between your teeth chokes your mad laughter. Torn away from the chain of silence the wolves* shadows sweep by l i k e echoes on stormy ground. The day: closes l i k e a tuning eye. Far behind your back your home grows dark. You stand framed in twilight l i k e a rambling ghost appearing to travellers at the end of their strength. 74 2 This dead escape and thought stepping into nothingness, and Plato in your hand, alone, as If he combined everything glued into a slime of ideas where a blind bird l i k e a blaze snatches out of the dark* Yet the f i n a l rebirth within the threat of time: the boa constrictor squeezing the world into a bee's head, the c i r c l e of a tree ungirdling into dust,, and the dizzy consciousness returning into nature. the trap 7 6 THE GUEST You are trapped, quiet guest of solitude l i k e a victim in a deep shadow that grows darker and darker. You f a l l apart within, and as i f you were dead, moss grows overryour open eyes. Out of the quiet blue a bird i s f a l l i n g l i k e a stone into your empty, inturned sight. A s t i l l flame gnaws you under the skin, you burn l i k e a pale vision. Into the firm silence after the rain as after a>ceremony slips the stroke of the dock shaking hands with time. The world, frozen into a wrapped look, sings back to i t in i t s darkest voice. Thick pains slice a l l along the hand shining in twilight l i k e a long beam. Prom beneath the cool fingers you uncoil an outcry which rises into emptiness l i k e a whip. 77 PEACE The peace of the forest gazes l i k e a dead eye. Ants ticktock over i t and the dust corrodes i t . In the concordance of stones rests the word you use to name a l l . as night does: darkly. Echoes slough on the shields of the mountains, black clouds of animals rush into midnight. Gloomy reflections interweave here with thoughts that give them power. Whatever i s coming greens l i k e silence. Seasons sleep at the base of the skull of the sky.. From the verge of consciousness illuminating things, a cuckoo c a l l s into the dusk. Weariness grinds at your peaceful temples. Like a beam of lig h t the wind s i f t s through the peaks. Thirst throttles you and time,.like the alphabet, slips blindly by. 78 THE RAIN The rain swarms caught In your open ear, slowly It begins to pierce the polished peace of the world. Behind the eyelids your s t i f f body loosens, and you sink into earth that softens your sight.. The barren water tunes your dead voice t i l l i t blackens l i k e the smell of woods. The times are f u l l of inimitable shudder,, you l i s t e n to the earth with your bones.. From time to time seasons flash in your eyes. A grey v e i l of spiders clings to you. Finally the sound of a bird occurs in a woof of dreams and strews dark seeds into the world. The o i l y yarn of the wind taking root in the cloudy southern slopes comes with new habits and blooms of memory seeping into the summer dust. 79 THE TRAP Snow i s a l e a f y echo of autumn r u s t l i n g s i l e n t l y toward t w i l i g h t . The world c u r l s up with i t s quiet meanings. Dark chains hinder the step i n sleep. You near the house l i t by rays of darkest thoughts seeking a threshold. Foggy a i r s n i f f s at the wall where a shadow wavers l i k e a specter. Inside: digging. Your name narrows i n the dark. You sink through thought to death which comes as i f summoned by palmistry. In a blaze of silence you burn to the end. When you try to run, the place stands on end l i k e a trap. You are your own victim, captive of your own thoughts. The steps of birds, your measure of the earth. A l a v a of wickedness and hate erupts b l i n d l y i n s i d e . 80 HORROR Sounds sleep ln the black spangle of tightening waters* Now and then they flap up a noi se l i k e a man awakening from sleep. Shadows blend with misunderstanding. You lean over your thoughts as over a bleeding vein. Your hair sprouts ln the wind l i k e grass when you rub your hands and pant into the ovary of horror flaming up in the middle of the night. You are alone and time surrounds you li k e the cir c l e s of a tree. Like a deep echo the world confronts you. You go and your evening image goes slowly dark, a sinking into forgetfulness. Silence shatters at your touch. Dust beneath your toes unclenches i t s numberless f i s t s . Rage l i c k s the bri s t l i n g adder threatening you l i k e god's finger in your home. images 82 COUNTRY Before me, but undefined, dawns p a i n f u l l y a country. At the edge of the r u s t l i n g f orest appears a woman harvester. As a f t e r a pause, things strengthen t h e i r meanings. Summer fo l d s around the cuckoo*s c a l l . The eyes repeat everything they see into forgetfulness. When bi r d s encounter them, they abandon t h e i r names. Their outcries remain caught i n the silence l i k e a pendulum. i In a draught I copy the world down to I t s Ineffable kernel. Never can a hand brothered with death as with a sword subdue these winds. The unfurled smells augur a thin crop. Whoever comes out of h i s house tarnishes l i k e brass. A shadow pursues man l i k e a father*s curse i n t h i s country. 83 THE FLOOD During nights f u l l of awned r a i n waters overflow and take the country with a deadly foam on t h e i r tongue. Spiders advance l n herds, the wall before me darkens. In deep f l i g h t , every thought i s an outcry. Loneliness r o l l s over me l i k e a boulder. The s o i l squeezes my head between i t s black jaws. Motionless I wait within myself l i k e a sentry. Words on my mute l i p s change into grass. F i n a l peace passes over me l i k e a dry wing. Midnight;rises into the eyes to crown death. I l i e upon the bottom, a stone grows i n my empty hand. Spiders flow away,-like a honeycomb I am pierced. 84 DROUGHT The country where I walk r o t s under the feet of strangers. Sharp winds seize the b r i s t l i n g grass. Claws clutch at"me from behind, I walk i n a trap. The landscape i s l i k e a blanket drawn over the dead. Summer pours black thunder on the heavy seals. Dryness floods my mouth and slowly chokes me. The s i c k l e pauses high i n my consciousness. I h a l t i n f l i g h t , cast i n a f l a s h of l i g h t n i n g . Time opens l i k e the avid teeth of a wolf b i t t e n into the quivering world with the rapacity of cold. T h i r s t swells slowly i n my mouth l i k e a poisoned f r u i t . At the table when memories dusk over I read ru i n from the [palm of my hand. 85 I AM Noon at midsummer i s cruel as c l e a r consciousness. Whatever escapes numbness only l n form Is cut f o r prey., Snakes t w i r l upward l i k e wisps of smoke. I t i s growing dark, autumn i s distant and i s drawing near. With the laws of the dead I established freedom i n order to subdue i t and ascertain everything. Winds g i r d l e me, i t ' s a long climb. The pain that I am enters into me l i k e a k n i f e . Behind me f u l l of e v i l composure l u r k s s i l e n c e . The f a l l i s long l i k e an outcry that dies l n the distance. Lost i n silence I seek strength f o r a new venture, but everything seems to r o t i n the g r i p of darkness. 86 WINTEB. The cold thickens, everyone steps h i s own way. The world has curled i t s e l f up, i t ' s a long winter. Sometimes the wind flashes l i k e the blow of a hand. Meandering the dark pantomime begins. Into the scent;of the earth I sink and decay. Consciousness drags i n the dust l i k e a heavy wheel. The western horizon stands l i k e a b l i n d door where become imprinted those who enter the night. Shadows of passengers cross on the ground l i k e swords. At the edge, f a r away from home, dusk presses them to i t s bosom. Fatigue darkens the limbs. Snakes:coil beneath every surface, anguish grows. 87 SILENCE The word silence has s e t t l e d into silence l i k e a stone. The world wavers i n the brown fog, q u i e t l y the roads have (closed. Time a r i s e s l n the thoughts of the l i v i n g l i k e a wall. Spring w i l l come f u l l of serpent 1s s p i t t l e and traces of (moisture. A l a t e r a i n colors the landscape with a grey weight. Everything s i l e n t pierces me qu i e t l y l i k e a sword. The earth on which I stand r i s e s toward me l i k e a woman. Thin l i g h t o u t l i n e s objects i n the dead eye. I run around inside a mousetrap, dust c u r l s l i k e a sneer. There i s no shelter to swallow me l i k e a black blaze. Steep Immobility on the horizon eclipses the world. The word silence has s e t t l e d into silence l i k e a stone. elohim 89 ALONE With a single Jerk everything f a l l s away from you, you confront the world alone-here-to-the-end. Clouds pass over you l i k e a threat. Sounds come vaguely, the dust c l i n g s . Every door you lean upon opens into the night, worms s l i t h e r over you l i k e bobbins. In the breeze n e t t l e s snap t h e i r sharp tongues, thoughts s t i f f e n , fear scatters you to a l l sides. 90 THE VULTURE The r a t s drown squealing, silence congealed above the dwarfish world, s t i l l strums the fleshy l i p of (the mud. In the dead a i r an i n v i s i b l e i nsect tightens a droning s t r i n g , by the wayside grass glows l i k e sharp c r i e s . The dry l i g h t does not twinkle, things seem absences, your eyelids pinch t h e i r long beams. Dark tongs puncture your soft memory where scene a f t e r scene disintegrates into a blaze of blackness. Among the shadows of v i s i o n s , l i k e a dark streak, the vulture [waits, you watch i t , In fix e d hate i t b r i s t l e s I t s poisonous head. Your face i s l i k e a threadbare rag which g l i s t e n s as you leave home among the trees Imbedded i n the night. 91 PEAR The house i s the dim s h e l l at the end of a l l roads into which you vanish l i k e a t u r t l e . I t s stern garret windows are patched with wicked faces. Fierce looks pierce you i n the dark. From f a r away you seem a c l e f t l n the wall. By a long s p i t t l e you are pinned to the toes that enliven you, you writhe i n cold dampness; l i k e a dark brooch a spider lowers i t s e l f down the tender seam. A sour smell t r a i l s from you as you r e t r e a t . Your skin f a l l s o f f your face l i k e a f o o l i s h mask, a heavy e y e l i d closes over you and never opens again, the dark house mutters emptily, a spider t o i l s l n the corner. 92 CLAWS You have spread your thoughts over the pale beings as I f the shadow of an i n v i s i b l e net l a i d on them. The rubble goggles at you from the dead slime, you f l e e , a dark figure at the slippery edge of consciousness. You are f a r away i n cold regions; hardened, as I f from age, you want to return, but you are trapped into t h i s to-be-(putside-your self-alone. Silence sinks, black tongues l i e k the dust, with gloomy mildness claws bloom i n March. 9 3 TIREDNESS Winds bloat on the branches l i k e a long restrained urge. S i l e n t l y you sink into the shadow-streaked forest where winter p e t r i f i e s the b i r d s tearing themselves to pieces f o r t h e i r bleary significance, your s p i r i t c i r c l e s l i k e a baby (monkey• I t i s growing dark, the gallows stand l i k e an empty door i n t h e i r shadow f a l l s i n your way. Tiredness looms D e h i n d your I f you glance across your shoulder, e v i l phantoms aris e from i t , the waste country before you greens with spreading mould. (back; 94 THIRST In the autumn t w i l i g h t eaten by dim f i r e s the landscape threatens l i k e an open jaw. Every step i n the sand burns, behind you l i e s a spoor of n e t t l e leaves. Your tongue protrudes from your mouth l i k e a swarm of black ( f l i e s , , with i t s t i p i t tastes the sweetness of the l a s t .smoke. One-eyed walls close q u i e t l y and with a dead glare begin to gaze at you. Thirs t i n your mouth snares l i k e a dark knot you can't s p i t out, f o r a wide radius about you, you are alone, 95 THE HEAD On every road a oold s k u l l of s o i l decays, shackled i n a long chain of steps. Dead an/fes l i k e dried drops of blood bulge In the gloomy eyes which stare at you. You run among the trees, f u l l f i s t s of l i g h t h i s s through the branches and s t r i k e you i n the face. Lizards shrink i n the dust l i k e fingers of a dying man, shadows cut your way of escape. Now and then a coarse musk of s o i l l i c k s you. Silence mirrors i t s e l f i n the moist Cyclopean eye. 96 WIDOW A widow i s the s i l e n t shadow of a dead man behind a faraway window, outside night meshes. Damp scenes materialize and fade upon the walls. The wind butts the door l i k e a heavy ram. She i s alone among darkening impulses, the wood i n the room [groans. Her movements s e t t l e l i k e pleats of a i r . The dusk congeals i n her soft s p i r i t , beneath her fingers a cigarette dies, crackling l i k e a louse. 97 ELOHIM With a single thrust he r i p s the world's p a r a l y s i s , dim he (stands before you. Everything around him scabs over l i k e a s§ore. He approaches streaked with blood and cool shadows. On the ground a t u f t of weeds twitches l i k e a beetle turned (upside down. His eyes stare at you l i k e the heads of two snakes, silence entangles you, you draw closer to one another. I t grows dark behind the windows, your home crumbles Into a (cloud of dust. Like a l i t t l e forked tongue, anger flashes i n h i s eyes. condition 99 THE HAND The hand droops mutely i n the dust l i k e a snake's slough. Wherever you reach you are alone. In t w i l i g h t the head i s l i k e a heavy swarm of bees, around I t time i s open to the eyes. By streaks you are pinned to the ground, you l i e as i f cracked from age that cools you. A worm dangles on a thin s p i t t l e into the s t i l l n e s s . The f i r e glues to the ground l i k e a soft rag. Dark hooks remain behind those who come with mute motions. 100 THE EYES Your eyes are l i k e tiny damp clods of earth, the s n a i l ' s track shines on them. The s p i r i t has barred I t s e l f into the dark, Images sink as i f i n a slowly darkening mirror. You l i e among yellow tusks of candles, the flames quiver l i k e mute moths. The wind drags i t s heavy wing through the dust. The f l i e s on your eyes gather into black scabs. 101 WEIGHT Seams on the head tear l i k e threads of smoke. the s p i r i t blooms. S i l e n t l y pours the scurf of the dead. at t w i l i g h t winds hang l i k e empty sleeves. A p u t r i d breath c l i n g s to your face l i k e a spiders web. The one with a fl a t t e n e d body battened on you b i t i n g your consciousness l i k e a cabbage l e a f ; i t i s growing damp, winter i s gloomy and long, no one t r a v e l s . During sleep,, when you fuse with night, weight gathers l i k e a puddle beneath you. 102 YOU ARE You are as though made of damp earth with a v e i l of dust on your eyes. T r a i l s extend from you to a l l sides as i f a pack of dogs were stretching your e n t r a i l s ; q u i e t l y spreads the dark stain of blood. The s p i r i t has stuck to the base o f your s k u l l l i k e s p i t t l e , none buries the bones, shadows lengthen. The teeth l i e i n the s o i l l i k e a brood of grubs, the slimy skin of the wind grows between your fi n g e r s . 103 THE STREAK Cool wrinkles cover you slowly,, the dead are l i k e weight, you are not alone* A p r i c k l y s h e l l of sounds revolves i n the ear. On the damp ground shadows swarm l i k e bugs. Cold b a c t e r i a spread over you. Thick threads hang from the sky l i k e dead r a i n . Time i s i n v i s i b l e , mutely i t melts your motions when you set out on a heavy f l i g h t . In the house behind you remains a pale streak which darkens on rainy days. 104 THE ROOM Tour face moulders l i k e an empty rag* On the col d ground i n a long look amid the heavy imprint of shoes the earwig roams. The walls stand l i k e dark* stony w a t e r f a l l s . Like a beam of l i g h t at dusk the hand weighs i t s motions, silence t r i c k l e s , , the hours squeeze you more and more. Cracks i n the wall sprout l i k e t a i l s of mice,, outside the yawning jaw protrudes. s t i l l - l i f e 106 STILL-LIFE I The mould of age covers your limbs and the sky above i s l i k e a pale imprint. The day extends as usual, winter i s hard as a bone, while I t l a s t s . S p l i n t e r s screech i n your head, n a i l s straddle l i k e f i s t s ; a l l slime begins here and teeth decay into dust. On top o f your s k u l l r o t grows l i k e baldness, smoke swirls i n the cross-beams of l i g h t . Then the s p l i n t e r frees I t s e l f and shows, a shadow marks the glory of creation. 107 II You are smeared with a slimy weight that drags you. Your bones are sterile umbels, the cold s o i l sticks to them lamely l i k e a black heap of dead f l i e s . The wind pastes the fields, l i k e soft knots the hours link in the dusk, but the dry squealing doesn't cease, no one pierces the neck of the flycatcher. 108 III The day rots among days* breathing does not save you, and henry moore sees far, having made a hole* But now i s carving time, never mind i f i t i s evening and the timber creaks. The house surrounds you like the body of an eclipse, trade flourishes outside, the heavy motions in the wormy background lag, and beneath the cover of the earth l i e the dead with decayed eyelids to warn the l i v i n g . 109 IV A long road i s sewn into your pale memory. Every move i s exhausted as on a painting at t w i l i g h t . Shadows quarrel on the damp ground. Blindness spreads before you l i k e an i n f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t y . Grasped by thoughts as by claws of birds, the merry skein of your head rotates incessantly. You have grown into your skin that becomes fl a b b i e r every day, you can't get past. Rain covers you l i k e measles when you leave and are long away.-110 V Under the skin, gathered Into muffled laughter, you are safe: ant-roads stretch everywhere. Peace i s s p i l l e d i n the sky l i c k e d deeply down by seasons, r e l i e f drags; on, t h i s i s followed by the death of the Capuchin. The severity of winter burdens every motion, on the empty square, i n the pale gleam of day you halt: among the habits of foreign people. The cold goggles and i s bright l i k e the eye of a f i s h , and he who has nothing else q u i e t l y freezes. drawings 112 DRAWINGS I You grow out: of secret;strength and out of dust only feigning o b l i v i o n , stench spreads, the winds are torn threads of earth and d r y / s p i t t l e , nothing i s yet discovered. Behind the monastery door,murmur quiet days, memories r o t under the midnight rock and the b i r d decays on the glove of remote love. But"man wanders l i k e a shadow on bright metal, withered senses and flowers embitter the a i r ; the new crosses with the ol d , thus; formulae are born and more than the eye can see. 113 II The days are c l e a r l i k e a chalk drawing, f a r away i s the dry fern autumn. Like the touch of a thumb on chafed skin the cold b i t e s , hard and bony. The houses are l i k e b e r r i e s gathered i n a look that reaches into times withered long ago, and as i f uttered by dead mouths v e r d i g r i s grows over the l i v i n g . You are alone among scattered winds as though at a roadless crossing. Winter gnaws you with the teeth of mice, hunger thickens i n the hollows of your eyes. 114 III Night i s f o r long journeys i n the frozen eye of imagination. You-are-alone-wlthin-your s e l f , beneath the b l i n d sky v i s i o n s sprout l i k e cracks. The a i r i s f u l l of the s i l e n t exertion of bir d s akin to breath on the pane of day. The trees, spaced out i n windy autumn, wearily reveal themselves l e a f a f t e r l e a f . r Noon burns you with a steep gaze, the p r i c k l y t h i s t l e blossoms i n your s p i r i t . As i f from numerous contacts with snow, the coarse skin s i l e n t l y laughs. 115 IV. A b i r d cowers i n the sky l i k e a dead l e t t e r , the l i g h t o f day skulks l n houses. The co ld b r i s t l e s , a flower blooms into the deaf time as i f from mouldering memory. O b l i v i o n f a l l s on things that shrink in to themselves, your face wrinkles in to the deep r ings o f a t ree . Your gaze g ives way, time i s i n s i g n i f i c a n t l i k e gloves dropped long ago. The world i s d i sp laced i n the r e f r a c t i o n of day as though q u i e t l y r o l l i n g on i t s h i p . The co ld weight of s h i f t i n g c r i p p l e s the motions, everything prepares for the f rog 1 s;: jump. 116 V The e v e n i n g c h a r s y o u I n t o a m e m o r y t h a t t i m e g n a w s t o t h e b o n e . S h a d o w s c l e a v e t o y o u r m o t i o n s , t h e c o l d s h o o t s l i k e c r a c k s i n a d a r k p a i n t i n g . Y o u a r e n a i l e d , w e i g h t i s t h e f o r m r e l e n t l e s s l y p o u r e d i n t o b r o n z e . L i m i t s l a t t i c e t h e s k y a n d t h e s w o r d l u r k s d e e p l y l i k e a n u r g e . I n s w a r m s t h e s e n s e s b l a c k e n t h i n g s f r o m w h i c h e a c h l i c k s i t s m e a n i n g . N i g h t i s p r e s s e d i n t o y o u r e y e , a g l o o m y i m m o b i l i t y w e i g h s y o u d o w n . FOOTNOTES 1. Kajetan Kovic", et a l , Pesml s t l r l h . (Ljubljana: Slovenski k n j i z n i zavod, 1 9 5 3 ) , p. 12?. 2. Boris Paternu, et a l , eds., Slovenska knjigevnost 1945-65. (Ljubljana: Slovenska Matioa, 1967), p. 112. 3 . Dane Zajc, Poggana trava. (Ljubljana: Samozalogba, 1958), p. 23. 4. KaJuhove pesml. (Ljubljana: Drgavna jj&alozba Slovenije, 19547TTp. 9 3 . 5. Miroslav Kosuta, Morje brez obale. (Koper: Zalogba Llpa, 1 9 6 3 ) , p. 4 4 . 6 . Niko Grafenauer, VeSer pred praznlkom. (Ljubljana: Drgavna zalogba Slovenije, 1962), p. 7. 7. Ibi d . . passim; Paternu, et a l , eds., op. c i t . , pp. 209-12. 8. Grafenauer, Veder pred praznlkom. p. 21. 9. Grafenauer, Stlska Jezlka. (Ljubljana: Drgavna zalogba Slovenije, 19&5), passim; Paternu, et al,.eds., op. c i t . , pp. 210-12. 10..Grafenauer, VeSer pred praznlkom. p. 57. 11. Ibid., p. 3 5 . 12. Grafenauer, Stlska Jezlka. (Ljubljana: Drgavna zalogba Slovenije, 1965), p. 38. 13. Ibid.. p. 20. 14. Grafenauer, "Stanje," Probleml. stev. 39 (Junlj 1 9 6 6 ) , P. 231. 15. Paternu, et a l , eds., op. c i t . , p. 210. 1 6 . Grafenauer, Veder pred praznlkom. p. 3 9 . 17. Paternu, et a l , eds., op. c i t . , p. 210. 118 18. Janko Lavrln., ed., An Anthology of Modern Yugoslav Poetry i n English Translation. (London: John Calder, 1962), p. 66. 19. Paternu, ed., op. c i t . , passim. 20. Toma2 Salamun, poker. (Ljubljana: Samozalo2ba, 1966), p. 9. 21. Lavrln, ed., op. c i t . , p. 105« 22. Ibid., p. 189. 23. Ibid., p. 194. 24. Ibid., p. 188. 25. Zbigniev Herbert, Selected Poems. (London: Penguin Books, 1968), p. 64. 2 6 . Grafenauer, Stlska Jezlka. p. 2 7 . 27. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 3 5 . 28. Grafenauer, Stlska Jezlka. p. 9-29. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 103. 3 0 . Grafenauer, Stlska Jezlka. p. 2 6 . 31. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 35. 3 2 . Grafenauer, Condition, see below, p. 6 3 . Subsequently referred to as "Grafenauer, Condition." N.B. Some quotes from Condition have been s l i g h t l y modified. 33. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 40. 34. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 78. 35. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 120. 3 6 . Grafenauer, Condition, p. 6 0 . 119 3 7 . Ibid., p. 80. 38. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 113. 3 9 . Grafenauer, Condition, p. 6 6 . 40. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 55. 41. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 7 0 . 42. Ibid., p. 71. 43. Ibid., p. 84. 4 4 . Ibid., p. 8 2 . 4 5 . Grafenauer, "Tihoz'itja," Problem!, stev. 54 (Junij 1 9 6 7 ) , P. 753. 46. Herbert, op. c i t . , p. 72. 4 7 . George Reavey, ed. & t r . , The New Russian Poets. 1953 to 1968: An Anthology. (New York: October House, 1 9 6 8 ) , p. 119. 48. Tsvetan Stoyanov, t r . Vladimir P h i l l i p o v , "Lyubomir Levchev and modern Bulgarian Poetry", Books  Abroad (Winter 1 9 6 9 ) , PP. 2 9 - 3 1 . 4 9 . Mrloslav Holub, Selected Poems. (Penguin, 1 9 6 7 ) , P. 51. 5 0 . Ibid., p. 6 9 . 51. Patrick Bridgwater, ed., Twentieth-Century German Verse, (London: Penguin, 1963), p. l x i x . 52. Jean Chatard, Le t t e r to Dirk Wynand, U.B.C, Creative Writing 415, 1968/69. 5 3 . Alexander Aspel, et a l , eds. Contemporary French Poetry. (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 9 3 . 54. Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. 297. 120 55* Aspel, op, c i t . , p. 13. 5 6 . Gertrude Clorius Schwebell, ed. & t r . , Contemporary German Poetry; An Anthology. (New York: New Directions Book, 1964), p. 8 3 . 5 7 . W i l l i s Barnstone, et a l . , eds., Modern European Poetry, (New York: Bantam Books, 1966), p. 146. 5 8 . Grafenauer, S t i ska .lezlka. p. 24. 5 9 . Grafenauer, VeSer pred praznlkom, p. 6 7 . 6 0 . Grafenauer, Stiska Jezlka. p. 24. 6 1 . Aspel, op. c i t . , p. 111. 6 2 . Ibid., p. 125. 6 3 . Grafenauer, Condition, p. 76. 64. Ibid., p. 1 0 9 . 6 5 . Ibid., p. 8 3 . 6 6 . Ibid., p. 79. 6 7 . Grafenauer, "Rizbe," (MSS, 1 9 6 9 ) , p. 3 . 6 8 . Grafenauer, Stiska j e z l k a . p. 12. 6 9 . Grafenauer, Condition, p. 76. 7 0 . Ibid., p. 9 2 . 71. I b i d . , p. 6 1 . 72. Ibid., p. 74. 73. Ibid., p. 8 5 . 74. Barnstone, et a l . eds., op. c i t . , p. 504. 75. Ibid., p. 578. 76. Octavio Paz, Excerpts from Blanco, t r . by George McWhirter, (U.B.C: Creative Writing #15, Xerox, 1 9 6 8 / 9 ) , section 4. 121 77• Grafenauer, Condition, p. 8 9 . 78. Ibid., p. 72. 79. Ibid., p. 58. 80. Grafenauer, Veder pred praznlkom. p. 7 0 . 81. Paul Valery, "My Faust", Collected Works Ed. by Jackson Mathews, (New York: Pantheon Books, ca. 1956), P. 151. 82. Grafenauer, Stiska Jezika. p. 34. 83. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 110. 84. Schwebell, op. c i t . , p. 129. 8 5 . Grafenauer, S t i ska Jezika. p. 18. 86. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 101. 8 7 . Grafenauer, Stiska Jezika. p. 1 6 . 88. Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. 261. 8 9 . Ibid., p. 290. 90. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 104. 91. Ibid., p. 114. 92. Ibid., p. 115 93. Ibid., p. 99. 94. Ibid., p. 100. 95. Ibid., p. 101. 9 6 . Ibid., p. 72. 97. Barnstone, op. c i t . , p. l 6 l . 98. Ibid., p. 141. 122 9 9 . Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. 121. 1 0 0 . Grafenauer, Condition, p. 64. 101. I b i d . , p. 6 8 . 1 0 2 . I b i d . , p. 109. 103. Ibid., p. 1 0 0 . 104. Grafenauer, Veger pred praznlkom. p. 3 5 . 1 0 5 . Grafenauer, S t i ska .lezika. p. 22. 1 0 6 . Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. 114. 107. Grafenauer, Stlska Jezika. p. 1 9 . 108. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 91 . 1 0 9 . Ibid., p. 72. 110. Ibid., p. 8 3 . 111. Grafenauer, Condition. p. 72. 112. Ibid., p. 9 5 . 113. Ibid., p. 80. 114. Grafenauer, Veger pred praznlkom, p. 25. 115. Grafenauer, Condition. p. 9 5 . 116. Grafenauer, Veger pred praznlkom. p. 2 6 . 117. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 83. 118. Ibid., p. 113. 119. Ibid., p. 9 9 . 120. Grafenauer, Veger pred praznlkom. p. 17• 121. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 6 l . 122. I b i d . , p. 7 9 . 1 2 3 123. Ibid., P. 110. 124. Ibid. , P» 8 6 . 1 2 5 . I b i d . , P. 93. 1 2 6 . Ibid., P. 1 0 3 . 1 2 7 . I b i d . , P. 108. 1 2 8 . I b i d . , P. 6 1 . 1 2 9 . I b i d . , P. 1 0 7 . 1 3 0 . Ibid., P. 5 7 . 131. Grafenauer, Stlska .jezlka. p. 48. 132. Grafenauer, Condition, p. 84. 133. Ibid . , p. 94. 134. Ibid., p. 1 1 6 . 1 3 5 . Grafenauer, Stlska .jezlka. p. 2 6 . 1 3 6 . Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. 1 0 5 . 137. Grafenauer, Ve5er pred praznlkom. p. 1 6 . 138. Angel Plores, ed., An Anthology of French Poetry From Nerval to Valery l n English Translation. (New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1958), p. 138. 139. Rainer Maria Rilke, Translations from the Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, by M.D. Herter Norton. (New York? W.W* Norton & Cb., 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 1 6 4 . 140. Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. 6 9 . 141. Ibid . , p. 1 0 5 . 142. C.L. Gollno, ed., Contemporary I t a l i a n Poetry; An Anthology. (University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1962), p. 142. 124 143. Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. 267. 144. Ibid., passim; Schwebell, op. c i t . , passim; Aspel, op. c i t . , passim. 145. Joseph C h l a r i , Contemporary French Poetry. (Manchester Univer s i ty Press, 1 9 5 2 ) , p. 155. 146. Ibid. , p. 157. 147. Aspel, op. c i t . , p. 1 8 . 148. Bridgwater, op. c i t . , pp. I v - l v i ; G o t t f r i e d Benn, "Probleme der L y r i k , " Essays. Reden. Vortrage. Gesammelte Werke. (Wiesbaden: Limes Verlag, 1 9 6 l ) , p. 524. 149. Schwebell, op. c i t . , pp. 11-13; Go t t f r i e d Benn, "Epilog und l y r i s c h e s Ich," Autoblograph-ische and Vermlschte Schrlften. Gesammelte Werke, (Wiesbaden: Limes Verlag, 1961) , pp. 7-14. 150. Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. l v i . 151. Ibid., p. l x i v . 152. Ibid., p. l x i i i . 153. Ibid., p. l x i v . 154. B e r t o l t Brecht, "Das Epi sche Theater," "Gesammelte Werke. Band 15, (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1 9 6 8 ) , pp. 2 6 5 - 2 6 7 . 155. Schwebell, op. c i t . , p. x x i l i . 156. Ibid., p. xxiv. 157. I b i d . . pp. x x l i - i i i . 158. Ibid. , p. x x i . 159. I b i d . . pp. xxx-xxxi. 160. Karl Krolow, Aspekte zeltgengsslsoher deutscher Lyrik, (Mflnchen: L i s t Bflcher, 1963), p. 30. 125 161. Rudolf Nikolaus Maler, Paradles der WeitloslakeIt: Untersuchungen zur abstrakten Dlchtung s e l t 1909t (Stuttgart: Ernest K l e t t Verlag, 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 1 2 9 . N.B. Quote translated by Professor Michael Bullock. 162. Marcel Raymond, De Baudelaire au Surreallsme, (Paris: L i b r a i r i e Jose C b r t i , 1966), p. 334. N.B. Quotes translated by Dr. M.J. Edwards. 163. Wallace Fowlle, The Age of Surrealism. (U.S.A.: Swallow Press and William Morrow and Co. Inc., 1 9 5 0 ) , p. 128. 164. Bridgwater, op. c i t . , p. x l v i i . 165. Prance Porstneric, "Pesnlsko bivanje stiske i n gnusa," Dla l o g l . stev. 6 (Leto * 6 6 ) , p. 337; Taras Kermauner, "Samocutenje i n samouz'ivanje," Dlalogl. stev. 3 (Leto 6 8 ) , p. 153; " D i a l i k t i c n a anatomlja," Problem! 6 9 - 7 0 , passim; Prance Vurnik, "Niko Grafenauer, Stiska j e z i k a , " Sod-obnost. stev 4 (Leto 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 430. 166. M i l i v o j e MarkoviSi "Lutanja 1 nedogledi," KnjlSevne novlne. Broj 271 (Mart 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 3 ; Herman Vogel, "PesniSki svet Nlka Grafenauer." Polja. 94-95 ( j u n i - j u l i 1 9 6 6 ) , God. x i i , p. 13. 167. Boris Paternu, op. c i t . , p. 212. 168. Kermauner, "SamoSutenje i n samon2ivanje," p. 153. 169. Vogel, op. c i t . , p. 13; MarkoviS, op. c i t . , pp. 3 - 4 . 170. ForstneriS, op. c i t . , p. 3 3 9 . 171. Vladimir Jerman, "Kava denlkotin," Problem!, stev. 75,(1963), p. 205. BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Alvarez, A., ed. The New Poetry. London, Penguin Books, 1966. Aspel, Alexander, et a l , eds. 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Club Centre, 1965. Spagnoletti, Glaclnto., ed. Poesia I t a l l a n a contemporanea: 1909-1959. Guanda. . Poetl del Novecento: Antologia. E d l z i o n i Scolastiche Mandadori, 1954. S t r i n i s a , Gregor. Mozalkl. Koper, Zalo2ba Lipa, 1959. . Odlse.1. Ljubljana, Cankarjeva zalo2ba, 1963. . Zvezde. Ljubljana, Dr2avna zalo2ba Sloven!je, 1965. Taufer, Veno. Je tnlk pro sto s t i . Ljubljana, Cankarjeva zalo2ba, 1963. . Svlngene zvezde. Ljubljana, Samozaloz'ba, 1958. Udovig, Jo2e. Ogledalo sanj. Ljubljana, Cankaljeva zolozba, 1961. Vale'ry, Paul. "My Faust," Collected Works. Ed. by Jackson Mathews. |$Jew York], Pantheon Books, 6-954 Wilbur, Richard., ed. Whitman. New York, D e l l , 1966. Williams, Oscar Carlos. A Pocket Book of Modern Verse. New York, Washington Square Press, Inc., 1967. Zadravec, F r a n c , ed. Pot skozl nog; Izbor i z slovenske  futurlstjgne i n ekspreslonlstlgne poezlje. Ljubljana, Mladinska knjlga, 1966. 130 Secondary Sources Benn, G o t t f r i e d . 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"PesniSki svet Nika Grafenauer." PolJa. broj 94-95, 1966, p. 13. 132 Vurnik, France. "Niko Grafenauer, Stiska j e z i k a . w  Sodobnost. stev. 4, 19o6, pp. 429-30. Wimsatt, W.K., j r . & Brooks, Cleanth. L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m . New York, Knopf, 1957. Zadravec, Franc. "Futurism i n ekspresionlzm v slovenski p o e z i j i . " Pot skozi nod. Ljubljana, Mladinska knjiga, 1966, pp. 93-139. APPENDIX The term 'Impersonal 1 i s used here i n a technical sense to denote the style of Niko Grafenauer's l a t e r poetry as well as that of some of h i s West-European contemporaries with whom he i s most closely a f f i l i a t e d . This style i s distinguished not only from the 'personal,' 'confessional,* ' s a t i r i c a l , * 'prescriptive,* or any kind of *committed* style of poetry, but also from the 'universal* style with which the * impersonal' style of the past Is often equated. Compared to some epic or Imagist poetry, for example, where an attempt at ' o b j e c t i v i t y ' i s made, contemporary 'impersonal' poetry i s of a highly s o l i p s i s t i c nature. The employment of the term 'impersonal* i n t h i s thesis i s , therefore, l i m i t e d i n that i t r e f e r s mainly to the apparently detached attitude many contemporary West-European poets assume towards themselves and th e i r world. I t may be also mentioned that i n "Tradition and Individual Talent" T. S. E l i o t elaborates on the "depersona-l i z a t i o n " and "impersonality" i n a r t i n the following manner: There remains to define t h i s process of depersonalization and i t s r e l a t i o n to the sense of t r a d i t i o n . I t i s i n t h i s depersonalization that a r t may be said to approach the condition of science. I therefore i n v i t e you to consider, as a suggestive analogy, the action which takes place when a b i t of f i n e l y f i l i a t e d platinum i s Introduced into a chamber containing oxygen and sulphur dioxide. 134 The poet has, not a 'personality' to express, but a medium, which i s only a medium and not a personality, i n which impressions and experiences combine i n peculiar and un-expected ways. Impressions and experiences which are important f o r the man may take no place i n the poetry, and those which become important i n the poetry may play quite a n e g l i g i b l e part i n the man, the personality.* *T. S. E l i o t , "Tradition and Individual Talent," Selected  Essays ;(London; Faber and Faber Limited, 1958), pp. 17-20. 

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