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Unfinished Shipwreck

by Alejandra Pizarnik
Translated from Spanish by
Adam Giannelli

This untimely tempest, these bars over the children of my eyes, his little history of love that closes like a fan, which, when open, displayed the hallucinating beauty: the most starkly naked girl of the forest in the silent music of someone’s arms.

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