Poems by Silvia Goldman

বাংলা English


two hands were separated by two large wells
if one wanted to reach the other
it had to enter the well and wait
for the other to come and remove it
to do this the other hand had to first
enter the darkness of its own well
neither hand knew this
and they stayed where they were
blindly clinging to the vanity of stillness
where only separation was present
no endearment
however old
or familiar
could have amputated that distance for them

*Translated by Mary Hawley


my father comes in from the balcony
he stems from a word we expelled
he leaves us his voice that spills
and this liquid that splits the table in two

Does the desire of an absence
resemble the will of what we do not have?
how many hands should go to a touch, tend to it
so they can share it?
what part of the table withstands the blow
that flipped the child in the park?
what remains trapped in the wire?
in which park was it?
in which father?

*Translated by Nanette Hernández


Why should life endure like one endless day and NOT I?
Why life, and I NOT one day?

If they knew
those who see me with my tongue fluent in wisdom and plain emotions
those who see me fluent and plan
that I have no tongue
nor wisdom nor plain emotions
if they knew
that I would cast myself out
I would be cecilia
and closing my eyes then too cecilia
and cecilia casting herself out and silvia casting herself out
and cecilia in the air and silvia in the air
and cecilia with her bare foot and silvia grasping at her bare foot
and cecilia wishing to reach the ground and silvia halting her body in the air.

The day cecilia fell silvia fell.
And if they knew
those who see in my tongue a rhythm of wisdom without falling
that I am fallen
that I am awry
that I cecilia.

*Translated by Charlotte Whittle

Silvia Goldman
  Silvia Goldman is a poet, teacher, and scholar. She is originally from Uruguay but has lived in the US since 2001. Her first book of poetry, Cinco movimientos del llanto, was published in 2008 by Ediciones de Hermes Criollo. A section of this book was translated by Charlotte Whittle and published in 2016 by Cardboardhouse Press under the title No one rises indifferent to sorrowDe los peces la sed, her second book, was published in 2018 by Pandora Lobo Estepario Press. Her most recent book, miedo, was awarded by the Tuft’s University “Feria Internacional de Libro Latino y Latinoamericano”, and was recently published by Axiara editions. She was a finalist in the VI and VII “Premio Internacional de poesía Pilar Fernández Labrador”, and “Premio internacional de poesía Paralelo cero”. Her poems have been included in various journals and anthologies.  She holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University and teaches language and literature at DePaul University. She is a member of the literary and cultural platform Contratiempo.

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