Yellow Burning Bushes of Forsythia (D: Gelb brennt der Forsythienstrauch, 2020; SI: Rumeno gori grm forzicij, 2008), Veronika Dintinjana’s first collection, is one of those rare debuts that not only shows promise but that seem as if it was written by an experienced author – both in terms of writing and life experience – and not by an author who had just entered her third decade. Shortly after the publication of this book, Veronika Dintinjana’s was recognized as one of the best of the young generation of poets, and she remains a central name on the contemporary Slovenian poetry scene. This is by no means unusual, for not only is Dintinjana a poet with an exceptional ear for rhythms and the sounds of words, with a sense of the figurative dimensions of language (her poetry emerges subtly and smoothly from a language that is close to spoken language), she is also an erudite individual. She is a creator who possesses extensive knowledge of literature, classical music, and art history, and who knows five foreign languages. All of this is reflected in her poetry, which seamlessly weaves a dense network of intertextual, artistic references that are a veritable treat for art connoisseurs. Her poetry affects us on several different planes. However, not recognizing one or the other reference does not detract from the pleasure of reading her verse. The main theme of Veronika Dintinjana’s poetry is time, its passing, its flow – she says that she writes poems about how time is always eluding us. These are poems that are written with surgical precision but at the same time that function with great naturalness and suppleness – whether the poem implies a broader background, often a mythical landscape, or whether the poem is interwoven into an arch of associations. Reading Veronika Dintinjana’s poetry is a profound, fulfilling but also inexhaustible activity.


Tommy James -