You keep watch from this room
where the menacing shadow is your own.
There’s no silence here
only phrases you avoid hearing.
Signs on the walls
tell of the beautiful faraway.
(Don’t let me die
without seeing you again.)
Alejandra Pizarnik was a prominent Argentinian poet who lived in Buenos Aires. She published her first book of poetry, La tierra más ajena in 1955. Following her debut work, she published two more volumes of poems, La última inocencia (1956) and Las aventuras perdidas (1958). She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968, and in 1971 a Fulbright Scholarship.
Adam Giannelli is the editor of High Lonesome: On the Poetry of Charles Wright (Oberlin, 2006). His translations have appeared in Field, Hanging Loose, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mantis and elsewhere.
Original text: Alejandra Pizarnik, Poesía completa, 6th ed. Barcelona: Lumen (Random House Mondadori), 2007.
Published with the permission of Mrs. Myriam Pizarnik de Nesis, manager of the Estate of Alejandra Pizarnik.
This poem is published in conjunction with Counterfeits, the 18th volume of TWO LINES, which includes another of Adam Giannelli's translation of Alejandra Pizarnik. To learn more and order your own copy, visit this page.