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Everything Indicates: Selected Poems by Petr Hruška, translated by Jonathan Bolton

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Petr Hruška is one of the Czech Republic’s leading contemporary poets. Everything Indicates: Selected Poems represents an invaluable introduction to his work for English-speaking readers, gathered in a translation of verve and poignancy by Jonathan Bolton. Hruška’s poems uncover realities we may have sensed but have never before found as precisely and unsettlingly articulated.

 

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A Room for the Night


the big trucks roared like ravenous
beasts of the night
you called out the price to me
a room for two people
the guy from the gas station
angular with lack of sleep
led us up a steep staircase
Berlin Krakow Trieste all of it
was in the past now
I had never seen
such a narrow room
when we wanted to turn around
we had to embrace

 

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In Everything Indicates, a gentle surrealism quietly disarms the reader and slips off with her defenses. Hruška’s poems, mostly describing the small moments of daily life, seem straightforward at fi rst. One begins by reading about laundry on a line, or spilled paint, or a flower shop, but by the poem’s close is brought up short by a profound encounter with God, or the secret interiority of those we love and have believed we’ve known, or one’s “own precise unimportance.” Petr Hruška’s poems are like cunningly assembled boxes—they seem compact and unadorned, but somehow, all the terrible, magnifi cent world fits inside them.
Francesca Bell


This selection of one of the Czech Republic’s most highly regarded living poets is excellently rendered into English by Jonathan Bolton. Petr Hruška’s poems are often sardonic and terse portrayals of the quotidian, yet almost imperceptibly, they unveil startling avenues of thought that tremble with unsettled feeling.
Andrew Neilson


Blue Diode Press

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