IV - Nobody comes in here with words


Argentinean poet Diana Bellessi included her poem ‘Nobody comes in here with words’ in her collection Tributo del Mudo (1982), a book she slowly wrote during one of Argentina’s darkest chapters in its history. The inner exile and fragmentary experiences so well explored in the book took place under the shadow of a bloody dictatorship, responsible for the ‘disappearance’ of at least 30,000 thousand people, among them some of Bellessi’s closest friends. In translating the poem into English, we asked ourselves about the implications of the title, the almost despotic command of ‘Nadie entra aquí’ linking it with a political state of things in Argentina during those dark years. We opted for ‘Nobody comes in here’ to make this association clear. We also tried to maintain the dream-like quality of the poem by keeping the repetition of the word ‘dream’ in the lines ‘I wake to your dream/the dream where you were’, and opting for the word ‘outstretched’ to describe the almost surreal act of touching by ‘tongue mouth fingers’ to the ‘gyrating rock of desire’. The beautifully erotic scenes in the poem were rendered by opting for bodily and sensual images such as ‘body half surrendered’ and ‘rose-pink the breasts where I suck’ while emphasising the almost religious/ceremonial connotations of the sexual consummation in the line ‘the bread has been devoured’.

Leo Boix, Workshop Translator and Facilitator