Among These Ruins

by Coral Bracho

This hotel is an old school,
you can feel it, though time has passed.
Despite the broken-down walls,
the smashed spaces.  The people who live here
seem to be passing through.  A few hours
each day.  A few months.
they do have their own rooms,
but they seem to be constantly on the move.
I have been looking for my own room for some time among these ruins.
I couldn't say how long, but now
I've come out into what must have been a garden
or some back terrace.
From here, all the spaces are back to front.
Perhaps I will recognize the look of my room
by its own back.  Or from it, perhaps, I will catch
some sound.

The literal translation of this poem was made by Tom Boll

The final translated version of the poem is by Katherine Pierpoint


  1. October 2nd, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Caden Knoblauch says:

    Coral Bracho is such a sensitive and imaginative poet. Thank you for this excellent translation of an insightful and inspiriing poem.

  2. September 6th, 2013 at 7:13 am

    aaron says:

    Amazing! Thankx for your amazing site!

  3. December 17th, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    bob says:

    very nice


  4. December 10th, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Allie says:

    I think its a wonderful poem. I needed it for one of my classes and my teacher gave me a great score and said that he will use it for all of his classes. Thank you! 

  5. August 13th, 2011 at 3:19 am


    I guess Coral Bracho is a mexican poet, not spaniard, she is a poet I like. 

  6. March 27th, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Carmen says:

    I think it is a fine version. However, I, as a poetry translator, would have worried about the choice "back terrace" instead "back patio/yard", since the poet is from Spain, and patios are so typical there, more than terraces. Maybe your choice allowes making the words and the feeling they convey more accessible to the English reader, which is a point in translating poetry.