“An aura of legendary prestige surrounds the work of Alejandra Pizarnik,” writes César Aira. Her last collection to be published before her suicide in 1972, A Musical Hell is the first book of poems by Pizarnik to be published in its entirety in the U.S. Pizarnik writes at the edge of poetic impossibility, opening with a blues singer, expanding into silence, and closing into a theater of shadows and songs of the drowned.
— The flower of distance is blooming. I want you to look through the window and
tell me what you see: inconclusive gestures, illusory objects, failed shapes.… Go
to the window as if you’d been preparing for this your entire life.
Review of A Musical Hell in the New York Journal of Books
“Like Dickinson or Celan, Pizarnik’s late poetry knows no waste. Her poems are carefully crafted jewelry hanging from a thread of silence; any ornament or opulence would disrupt their balance.”
— Columbia Journal
“Fear and desire, silence and passion, beauty and death—all the coordinates of poetry are available in this slim volume of verse by a young woman whose voice was silenced decades ago, and far too soon.”