Sara Cohen, La oportunidad


Sara Cohen is an Argentinian poet who has translated Gaston Miron to Spanish. She participated in the Festival international de poésie de Trois-Rivières last October. I bought this small book of poetry in part because I was attracted to its very simple white cover.

The book contains three parts: 1. Un pintor llamado Felix Nussbaum, 2. Diálogos de amor, and 3. Ligeras incomodidades, secretas imposibilidades.

The first part has poems that reflect on the nature of Jewish identity, not surprising given the poet’s last name. What is unusual to me is that whereas we often hear of South America as a favourite landing place of Nazis going into hiding after WWII, Argentina is reported to have the largest Jewish community in South America, with waves of immigration related to the Spanish Inquisition, pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe around 1860, and Nazism in the 20th century. If we assume the poems to be autobiographical, the author mentions that her mother arrived in America in 1943.

el momento justo del partir
posibilitó años después
en otro continente
el encuentro
de mis padres
y mi nacimiento.

The poems of the second part describe the distance that separate two lovers and express the feelings of longing.

Nos habíamos despedido
en el aeropuerto
hacía casi veinte horas
y une vez en mi ciudad
busqué sus palabras escritas
que como brazos
podían sosterneme.

And later,

En esa intermitencia
entre aparición
y desaparición
se ancla el deseo


el diálogo es un rumor
nacido de esa fragilidad

The third part talks about origins, relationships with parents, love, loneliness, privacy… A lovely collection.


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