Paperback, 56 pages
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (November 2014)
Selected by Barbara Epler
“Pizarnik is a colossus of poetry, a legend from Argentina – this is early work by a young poet of frightening power, already dark and intense: ‘Not only a great poet, but the greatest and last,’ according to César Aira.” —Barbara Epler
First published in 1962, Diana’s Tree is Argentinean poet Alejandra Pizarnik’s fourth volume of poetry. Though she would die only 10 years after its publication, a decade in which her writing would undergo radical changes, Diana’s Tree is the work that propelled her onto the the international stage, if only for a short time. In his introduction to the text, Octavio Paz says, “When placed out in the sun, Diana’s tree reflects its light and harnesses its rays into a central focal point called a poem, which lets off a luminous heat that can burn, smelt or even vaporise its skeptics.”
Days when a distant word takes hold of me. I go
through those days, sleepwalking and transparent.
The beautiful wind-up doll sings to herself, charms
herself, tells herself stuff and stories: a nest made
of stiff thread where I dance and lament myself
at my countless funerals. (She is her own blazing
mirror, her spare for the cold bonfires, her mystical
element, her adultery with the names that crop up
alone on pallid evenings.)
A Diana’s Tree is a crystallisation of silver that has been extracted from mercury.