On the Tracks of Wild Game
Poetry. Translated from the Slovenian by Sonja Kravanja. Tomaž Šalamun wrote the poems collected in ON THE TRACKS OF WILD GAME [Po sledeh divjadi] in a time of personal crisis during the politically repressive years of the 1970s. It was with this book, which saw its first publication in 1979, that Šalamun made a complete transformation in moving from art-making to poetry.
"Tomaž Šalamun's poems never cease to show me what language can be, as they come from a place of turbulent winds and the wild earth. ON THE TRACKS OF WILD GAME is no different. Spilling with fantastic images and uneasy emotions, it is an absolute masterpiece. It turns me over into a new thing. Or as Šalamun says, 'shine dream / die sharpness.' Or as he says, 'I gave her my black / elder to drink. / She dressed it, / then pulled away from it and tossed it / into the red spring.'"—Dorothea Lasky
"There is a grisly ecstasy to conscious life that few poets have, or have ever had, the nerve to approach but which Tomaž Šalamun captures as casually as raindrops in a leaf cup. If not already apparent to his English-speaking audience, ON THE TRACKS OF WILD GAME, a sort of psychedelic thriller cum opera of a collection, should firmly establish him as one of poetry's all-time greatest lunatics."—Laura Solomon
"When reading Tomaž Šalamun's ON THE TRACKS OF WILD GAME it's not all that easy to keep past and future apart. Šalamun wrote these poems in Ljubljana in 1976, at a politically stressful time and after the author's first sojourn in the US. The spoor is still fresh, and freshly disorienting. Are we on the trail of Hölderlin, reading traces of divine indifference with the requisite bouquets? or is this some kind of pre-internet Flarf, human overload speaking in human tongues and flirting with the un-human?"—Bob Perelman