Remembering Alejandra Pizarnik

Alejandra Pizarnik was born in Buenos Aires and began to study philosophy and literature at university but left to pursue a dream of poetry and painting. 

She created a body of work that would touch on major themes such as isolation, childhood and death. She would go on to produce several books of poetry, prose, drawings and essays.

In her 1959 journal she wrote:

I would like to live in order to write. Not to think of anything else other than to write. I am not after love nor money. I don’t want to think nor decently build my life. I want peace: to read, to study, to earn some money so that I become independent from my family, and to write

Taken from: Where the Voice of Alejandra Pizarnik Was Queen By Patricio Ferrari July 25, 2018

Influenced by the French symbolists, her work was dark and its diction was full of fragility, isolation and violence. Her work spoke of loneliness and of being alone. The violence of beauty and the beauty of violence often intertwined, enveloped in melancholy – her collection of work is one to be treasured.

Bibliography via Poetry Foundation:

Pizarnik published several books of poetry during her lifetime, including: La tierra más ajena (1955), La última inocencia (1956), Las aventuras perdidas (1958), Árbol de Diana (1960), Extracción de la piedra de locura (1968), and El infierno musical (1971). She also published the prose essay “La condesa sangrienta” (1971), a meditation on a 16th-century Hungarian countess allegedly responsible for the torture and murder of more than 600 girls. Pizarnik’s work has been translated into English in the collections Alejandra Pizarnik: Selected Poems (translated by Cecilia Rossi, 2010) and Extracting the Stone of Madness (translated by Yvette Siegert, 2016).

In the echo of my deaths
there is still fear.
Do you know about fear?
I know about fear when I say my name.
It’s fear,
fear in a black hat
hiding rats in my blood,
or fear with dead lips
drinking my desires.
Oh, yeah. In the echo of my deaths
there is still fear.

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