L’eau étrangère by Silvia Baron Supervielle

BOMB 81 Fall 2002
BOMB 081

from L’eau étrangère (1993)

there beyond
oblivion and
the strange

now that
the star
the well
filled up

here remains
of me

a sea lifts away
my eyes and a dream
gradually rubs out
my face

a ground carries off
my step and a sky
leaves my memory
in the void

the wind but a
wild wind strikes me
always in the same


(unpublished, from 1997)

I cannot become
the slanted rain blonde
over the plains surging
from the sunset’s flames
nor join that river
embracing two shores
nor can I resume
the smile wavering
when the water covers
with shadow and leaves me
standing there headless
in broad daylight

the sand carried away
the profile of a face
that opened the sea
it will cover the flash
of the broken crest
will extinguish the chant
of the deep wave
it will leave to the oblivious
wind the air
that blindly turns

Translated by Jason Weiss.

Jason Weiss is the editor of Back in No Time: The Brion Gysin Reader (Wesleyan) and the author, most recently, of The Lights of Home: A Century of Latin American Writers in Paris (Routledge).

Silvia Baron Supervielle was born in Buenos Aires in 1934 and moved to Paris in 1961, where she still lives. She is the author of five books of poetry, including L’eau étrangère (1993) and Essais pour un espace (2001), as well as five books of poetic prose and other works.

Four Poems by Patricia Spears Jones

Originally published in

BOMB 81, Fall 2002

Featuring interviews with Jane Hammond, Walid Ra’ad, Martina Kudlacek, Mahmoud Darwish, Jeffrey Eugenides, Steve Reich, Beryl Korot, and Christopher Shinn

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