from Tree of Diana

by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated by Jason Stumpf


like a poem aware
of the silence of things
you speak so as not to see me


when she sees the eyes
I have tattooed on my own


says she doesn’t know of fear of death of love
says she’s scared of death of love
says love is death is fear
says death is fear is love
says she doesn’t know

for Laure Bataillon


I’ve been born again
and suffered doubly
in the memory of here and there


at night

a mirror for the dead little girl

a mirror of ashes


a view from the sewer
can be a vision of the world

rebellion consists of watching a rose
until it pulverizes the eyes

                                                (a drawing by Wols)

these threads imprison shadows
and force them to render accounts of silence
these threads unite sight with sob

                                                (Goya exposition)

a hole in the night
suddenly invaded by an angel

                        (a drawing by Klee)

when the palace of night
ignites its beauty
                                    we will press the mirrors
until our faces sing like idols


a blow from the dawn in the flowers
leaves me drunk from nothing and from lilac light
drunk from stillness and from certainty


you move away from names
that string together the silence of things


ALEJANDRA PIZARNIK (1936-1972) was a Argentine poet and translator. Her books include Los Trabajos y las Noches (Works and Nights) and El Infierno Musical (The Musical Inferno).

JASON STUMPF is the author of A Cloud of Witnesses (forthcoming in 2010). His translations include Aurora by Pura López-Colomé (Shearsman 2007) and The moon ain't nothing but a broken dish by Luis Felipe Fabre (Achiote 2008).