Enrique Lihn


The unwritten poem that mocks the word

paralyzes my hand above the blank paper.

Once more my head is a forest and my hand is an insect

monstrosity plays with

and from language itself the words that haunt it spring

as dreams of grandeur spring from a poor devil.

Such darkness could well announce the birth of the happy poem

I wish this one were.

I wish, I wish. I want to return to the forest,

my words fill me: voices I ought to interpret:

a song before language as if of leaf sounds

a hope, through the trees, of finding it in the depth of the forest

with “an unknown light” which will illuminate everything in the space

of an instant of forever,

and forgetting earthbound language,

will open the heart to the song overflowing it.

The heart: mouth of the impossible poem

so similar to happiness.

— translated from the Spanish by Mary Crow