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by Alejandra Pizarnik
Translated from Spanish by
Adam Giannelli

Everything makes love to the silence.

I was promised a silence like fire, a house of silence.

Suddenly the temple is a circus and the light a drum.

Alejandra Pizarnik (1936–72) is among the most important Latin American poets of the twentieth century. Born in Argentina to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Pizarnik studied literature and painting at the University of Buenos Aires, then moved to Paris, developing close ties with Julio Cortázar and Octavio Paz.
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. For more information, visit