Selected poems: Ten Metaphors in Space

Cecilia Vicuña

– Antivero 


The river wants to be heard before it is contaminated.


The ñipas are its spirits, its guardians. The perfumed shrub.


Thread is a trail

I’m lost on

the trail is a scent

I travel


– The Chibcha Trail 


The Chibchas wove trails on the crests of the hills to join the villages of Cundinamarca and Boyacá.


Poetry lives in certain places

where the cliffs need nothing

but a sign to come alive.

two or three lines, a marking,

and silence begins to speak.

(Bogotá, 1981)


– For the trees and birds 


The opinions of birds are very important. Would they accept the woven trees? In a few minutes they were singing like crazy.

 (Lexington, New York, 1987)


– Hudson River 


I launched boats on the river, talking to it. Changing sign, mine and those there by chance. The boats and the trash, mingling.

(New York, 1990)

Vicuña, Cecilia. “Unravelling Words & the Weaving of Water”. Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 1992. p. 16, 17, 21, 23. Translated by Eliot Weinberger and Suzanne Jill Levine.

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