I recently found myself submerged in unexplored waters discovering the selected and celebrated works of the late Argentine poet, Alfonsina Storni. My Heart Flooded With Water is a captivating collection of translations from Spanish to English by Orlando Ricardo Menes. In fact, Menes practically makes his own artistry appear as effortless as floating. I especially enjoyed the companion reading format, i.e. Spanish text of each poem on the left and the translated English version on the right.
Storni was prolific and her feminist poetry was, and still is, very empowering. One of my favorite pieces is “I Want.” The essence of this short poem expresses the vulnerability of going back to a simpler, pure time without self-consciousness. Ironically, her candor, wisdom and word choice reflects an inner strength while contemplating surrender.
Despite more than 70 years passing since she lived, Storni’s gift for refreshing the senses with thought provoking imagery lives on. She’s a master of surprise from the playful shapes in “Zoo Clouds” to the comparison of a child’s voice to a watered violoncello in “Beach.” There’s a particular line in “Two Words” that seems almost autobiographical in terms of Storni’s longevity, talent and ability to renew readers time and again with: “Words so old they are new.” The spiritual tones and water themes throughout personally reminded me of an old hymn, “Come to the water.” So I encourage you to dive into this treasure trove read during the summer. I think you’ll be glad you did.