Rain teaches us

by Aleš Šteger, translated by Brian Henry

Rain teaches us:
Don’t search, place yourself in the rain.

It teaches us, rain, how to scatter
The clouds inside us.
For whom does it rain from a clear sky?

Rain tells us:
Every correction is a detour.
They are only approximations of large storms.

It secretly confided in me:
For others, I will fall all night,
For you only, your entire life.

Aleš Šteger has published eight books of poetry, three novels, and two books of essays in Slovenian. Five of his books have been published in English: The Book of Things, which won the 2011 Best Translated Book Award; Berlin; Essential Baggage; the novel Absolution; and Above the Sky Beneath the Earth.

Brian Henry is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Permanent State. He has translated Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices, Aleš Debeljak’s Smugglers, and Aleš Šteger’s Above the Sky Beneath the Earth and The Book of Things, which won the Best Translated Book Award. His work has received numerous honors, including two NEA fellowships, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, a Howard Foundation fellowship, and a Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences grant.