The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Alejandra Pizarnik: 1 Poem Published in Translation

Poem by Alejandra Pizarnik (Argentina)

Translated by Vicky Cox (UK)

Published in The Ofi Press issue 46


Waiting for darkness


This moment cannot be forgotten

So empty it’s been rejected by shadows

So empty it’s been abandoned by watches

This poor moment adopted by my tenderness

Stripped naked naked of the blood of wings

Without eyes to remember the anguish of years gone by

Without lips to collect the juice of violence

Lost in the tolling of frozen bell towers.


Protect it, girl of blind soul

Give it your hair frosted by the fire

Embrace it tiny statue of terror.

Show it the world convulsing at your feet

At your feet where swallows die

Trembling with terror when faced with the future

Tell it that the sighs of the sea

Dampen the only words

Worth living for.


But this moment which exudes nothing

Nestled in the cave of destiny

Without hands to say never

Without hands to gift butterflies

To dead children. 


A la espera de la oscuridad


Ese instante que no se olvida

Tan vacío devuelto por las sombras

Tan vacío rechazado por los relojes

Ese pobre instante adoptado por mi ternura

Desnudo desnudo de sangre de alas

Sin ojos para recordar angustias de antaño

Sin labios para recoger el zumo de las violencias

Perdidas en el canto de los helados campanarios.


Ampáralo niña ciega de alma

Ponle tus cabellos escarchados por el fuego

Abrázalo pequeña estatua de terror.

Señálale el mundo convulsionado a tus pies

A tus pies donde mueren las golondrinas

Tiritantes de pavor frente al futuro

Dile que los suspiros del mar

Humedecen las únicas palabras

Por las que vale vivir.


Pero ese instante sudoroso de nada

Acurrucado en la cueva del destino

Sin manos para decir nunca

Sin manos para regalar mariposas

A los niños muertos.


About the Translator

Victoria Cox recently graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in French and Spanish. She is from Somerset, England, however she currently lives in Bogota, Colombia, and teaches English at the Catholic University of Colombia.

Before moving to Colombia, Victoria spent a year living in Mexico teaching English at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico. Prior to this she worked as a live-in au-pair with a Spanish family in Madrid. These experiences have fostered in her a keen interest in the Spanish speaking world and a desire to travel and work abroad, which inspired her to move to Colombia. Victoria is an avid writer and keeps a blog to record her travels. She hopes to visit other Latin American countries in the future.

Image: "Angel" by Paul Wooten.