Praise and Poems
This first English translation of Solos y solas consolidates Tamara Kamenszain’s status as one of Argentina’s senior poets, and introduces her arresting, thought-provoking work to new audiences. The poems of Men and Women Alone explore the lives of single men and women: their blind dates; their meetings both planned and casual, realized and frustrated. In this hesitant new world of postmodern urban matchmaking it’s no longer possible to strive for the elusive wedding ring — ‘what do I see when I see something in the name of gold? It’s not going to be the names of the spouses: all the poet can strive for is the sheltering word’ — or tent-word in Michael Hamburger’s rendering of Celan’s wonderfully suggestive Zeltwort. For to write poetry for Kamenszain is to visit the desert and start afresh, to begin by ‘tenting it’ yet remain always focused on building, in order to one day inhabit — and own — the house of poetry.
Work published within the framework of ‘Sur’ Translation Support Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of the Argentine Republic.