by Roberto Juarroz I think that at this moment maybe nobody in the universe is thinking about me, I'm the only one who's thinking me, and if I were to die now nobody, not even I, would think me. And this is where the abyss begins, as when I go to sleep. I'm my own support and I take it away from me. I help to curtain everything with absence. That may be why when you think of someone it's like saving them.
From "Vertical Poetry" by Roberto Juarroz (North Point: $10.95). This bilingual edition, translated for the first time into English by Pulitzer Prize-winning author W. S. Merwin, brings together poems Juarroz wrote from 1958-87. Juarroz, born in 1925, grew up in Argentina and earned his living as a librarian. Octavio Paz has described "vertical poetry" as "upward and downward, fountain where the potable water of the spirit rises and tower where the free air of thought descends." 1988, Roberto Juarroz. Reprinted by permission of North Point Press.