The mushrooms are born in silence

The mushrooms are born in silence; some are born in silence; others, with a brief shriek, a bit of thunder. Some are white, others pink, that one’s gray and looks like a dove, the statue of a dove; some are gold or purple. Each one bears—and this is the horrible part—the initials of the dead person from which it springs. I don’t dare devour them; that tender flesh is our relative.
      But in the afternoon the mushroom buyer comes and starts to pick them. My mother lets him. He chooses like an eagle. That one, white as sugar, a pink one, a gray one.
      Mama doesn’t realize she’s selling her own kind.

by Marosa di Giorgio

‘The mushrooms are born in silence’ is copyright © BOA Editions, 2012, and reprinted from the book Diadem: Selected Poems, translated by Adam Giannelli, and published by BOA Editions in 2012.

Notes from BOA Editions:

Marosa di Giorgio has one of the most distinct and recognizable voices in Latin American poetry. Her surreal and fable-like prose poems invite comparison to Kafka, Cortázar, and even contemporary American poets Russell Edson and Charles Simic; but di Giorgio’s voice, imagery, and themes—childhood, the Uruguayan countryside, a perception of the sacred—are her own. Previously written off as ‘the mad woman of Uruguayan letters’, di Giorgio’s reputation has blossomed in recent years. You can find out more about Marosa di Giorgio from her official website (in Spanish – or in English with the help of Google Translate!) here, and from BOA’s page here.

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