November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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Alberto Blanco/Poetry


By Alberto Blanco

Translated by Lilvia Soto

for William Carlos Williams



in El Paso

at dusk

I saw (smelled)

ten thousand undocumented workers.

They came from the Chihuahua desert

to harvest the crops.

They filled the city parks

to sleep.

Their guardian angels,

their wings trembling,


after a rain of insults.

They left the field open

for the agents of the Border Patrol.


(trans. by Lilvia Soto)



Por Alberto Blanco

Traducido por Lilvia Soto

a William Carlos Williams


Una vez

en El Paso,

hacia el atardecer,

vi (olí)

a diez mil indocumentados.

Venían del desierto de Chihuahua

a trabajar en la pizca.

Llenaron los parques

de la ciudad para dormir.

Sus ángeles guardianes,

las alas temblándoles,


tras una lluvia de improperios.

Les dejaron libre el terreno

a los agentes de la patrulla fronteriza.



About Alberto Blanco: 

Alberto Blanco photo by Juan José Díaz InfanteAlberto Blanco
, in addition to being one of the most recognized  contemporary Latin American poets, is also an essayist, translator, musician, and visual artist. Born in Mexico City in 1951, he studied chemistry and philosophy at Universidad Ibero Americana and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and he worked on a Master’s degree in Asian Studies, specializing in China, at the Colegio de México. His first published work was in 1970 — the same year as his first music band — and his first art exhibit took place in 1981. He was co-editor and designer of the poetry journal, El Zaguán (1975-1977), and was awarded grants from the Centro Mexicano de Escritores (1977), from Insituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1980, from Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, in 1990, the Fulbright Foundation in 1991 and the Rockefeller Foundation in 1992). In 1994, he was accepted into the Sistema Nacional de Creadores in México, and in 2001, he received the Octavio Paz Poetry Award. In 2008, he was awarded a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. Blanco’s literary work is varied and abundant. He has published twenty-six books of poetry in Mexico and another eight in other countries. Also, ten books of his translations of the work of other poets and some favorites for children which have been illustrated —most of them— with his wife, Patricia Revah’s, textiles. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

To date, Blanco has published more than sixty books and another twenty books of translations, anthologies, and illustrated books — as well as eight hundred articles and shorter publications. In Mexico and in other countries, more than two hundred essays, reviews, and commentaries have been published about his work, as well as fifty interviews. His poems are included in at least eight anthologies, and they have also been the subject of several master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. Furthermore, they are included in a dozen dictionaries and textbooks. This is to say that his publications number twelve hundred or more.

Photo by Juan José Díaz Infante.