Tania Ganitsky (trans. Rosalind Harvey)

Three Poems

The first poem of the year tells
of what I will touch:
the unbudded leaves of the begonia,
someone’s body as they dream, in a distant body,
of images that to date
they have not seen
and which to date do not exist;
the wet tongue of a dog
that will wake me in the mornings,
the blistering logs I will brush against by accident
as I arrange wood in fires to come,
torsos of strangers in newly crowded streets,
the legs of a fly that settles on my arm,
or – if I’m lucky – those of a butterfly;
pages of texts and notebooks with unexpected
combinations of words,
the slimy body of insects that today I fear and avoid.
And I will touch the darkness of people who are luminous
and people who are dark,
without discerning between flair and danger.


El primer poema del año habla
sobre lo que voy a tocar:
las hojas no nacidas de la begonia,
su cuerpo mientras sueña en un cuerpo distante
con imágenes que al día de hoy
no ha visto
y que al día de hoy no existen,
la lengua húmeda de un perro
que me despertará en las mañanas,
la madera hirviente que rozaré accidentalmente
al acomodar leña en fuegos por venir,
torsos de desconocidos en calles nuevamente atestadas,
las patas de una mosca posada en mi brazo
o, si tengo suerte, las de una mariposa,
páginas de cuadernos y libros con combinaciones
de palabras inesperadas y asombrosas,
el baboso cuerpo de insectos que hoy temo y evito.
Y tocaré la oscuridad de las personas luminosas
y de las oscuras,
sin discernir entre el don y el peligro.




To owe the unwritten poems to the time
in which they were not written
to the imagination that does not yet imagine them
to memory supplanted
by oblivion
to oblivion supplanted by pain, et cetera.


Deberle los poemas no escritos al tiempo
en que no se escribieron
a la imaginación que todavía no los imagina
a la memoria suplantada
por el olvido
al olvido suplantado por el dolor, etcétera.




The convalescent toad said:
I once loved the sound of the rain
the night of the rain
the rapid heartbeat of the rain
the black bile of the rain
the puddles.


El sapo convaleciente dijo:
amé el sonido de la lluvia
la noche de la lluvia
la taquicardia de la lluvia
la bilis negra de la lluvia
los charcos.


The Colombian Edition of The London Magazine is out now and available from our online shop. Published in anticipation of next month’s Hay Festival in Cartagena de Indias, this issue will be followed by a Spanish language version, out in January 2022, in Colombia and the UK.
Cover image: Ritual (Pescadores), oil on canvas, 100x150cm (Pedro Ruiz, 2010)


Tania Ganitsky is a Doctor of Philosophy and Literature. In 2009 she won the Concurso Nacional de Poesía de la Universidad Externado de Colombia and in 2014, the Premio Nacional de Poesía Obra Inédita with her first book, Dos cuerpos menos (2015). She published Cráter, co-authored with the artist José Sarmiento, in 2017. Desastre lento (2018 and 2019) was among the five finalists nominated for the Premio Nacional de Poesía granted by the Ministry of Culture in 2019. La suspensión de los objetos flotantes (2020), with illustrations by Ana María Lozano and published by Cardumen, is her most recent poetry collection. She is co-editor of La trenza, a fanzine of illustration, essays and poetry by Colombian women and she teaches poetry courses and workshops in some universities in Bogotá.

Rosalind Harvey is a literary translator and educator based in Coventry in the West Midlands. She has translated writers such as Juan Pablo Villalobos, Elvira Navarro, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, and Enrique Vila Matas. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Arts Foundation Fellow, and a founding member of the Emerging Translators Network.

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