Tag Archives: Scott Spanbauer

Cesarco Eglin

Translator’s Note:

Sastrería (Tailor Shop) revolves around memory. In these three poems that I am submitting, Cesarco Eglin delves into the negotiations that pertain to being the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors–negotiations that have to do with languages, generations, as well as remembering and forgetting. Translating these poems and working closely with Cesarco Eglin, I came to understand what it means to be a Holocaust survivor, a third generation Holocaust survivor.


Cesarco Eglin (poet) is one of the most unique voices in contemporary Uruguayan poetry. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Llamar al agua por su nombre (Mouthfeel Press, 2010), Sastrería (Yaugurú, 2011), and Los brazos del saguaro (Yaugurú 2015), as well as of a chapbook of poems, Tailor Shop: Threads (Finishing Line Press, 2013), co-translated into English by Teresa Williams and the author. Eglin’s work has been published in the US, UK, Mexico, Spain, and Uruguay, including such journals as Puerto del Sol, The Acentos Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Timber, Tupelo Quarterly, Coal City Review, Periódico de Poesía, and Metrópolis. Her poems are also featured in the Uruguayan women’s section of Palabras Errantes, Plusamérica: Latin American Literature in Translation. Eglin’s poetry will aslo appear in América invertida: An Anthology of Younger Uruguayan Poets (University of New Mexico Press, 2016). Eglin’s work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


Scott Spanbauer (translator) is an editor and translator and teaches Spanish at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His translations of Laura Cesarco Eglin’s poems appeared in Coconut Magazine, Boundless (the anthology of the seventh annual Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival), Pilgrimage, Hiedra Magazine, and LuNaMoPoLiS.



When someone says campo
I don’t automatically think of a meadow
where I can rest my head, forget
about the city and have a picnic

When someone says campo
the images are held back, nothing
comes.     The wind
sweeps me head-on into silence

A pause like the one I impose on myself
so I make sure when faced with
Symbol for Spanbauer

to pronounce it with more than just my mouth

Campo is wrapped up in the black
and white of your voice testifying
to memories that haunt me in photos
videos in my viscera

If I say campo now, I might see
green pastures, gray this time around
and disturbing amidst life unraveled
the image, in the highway car window

cows grazing, green all the way to the border and more
uniforms covering bones, with no more name
than the number on the arm
like an eternal lottery of postponed prizes

Those campos now choked with grass
brush up against Uruguayan meadows
they coexist in a dictionary that insists
upon separating them with numbers




Cuando se habla del campo
no tomo por sentado una pradera
donde descansar la cabeza y olvidarme
de la ciudad en un picnic

Cuando se habla del campo
se frenan las imágenes, no viene
nada.     Al silencio
me arrasa el viento de frente

Una pausa parecida a la que me obligo
para tomar impulso ante la Symbol for Spanbauer

pronunciarla con más que sólo la boca

Campo se envuelve en un blanco
y negro de tu voz testimoniando
recuerdos que me persiguen en fotos
videos en mis vísceras

Si ahora digo campo, puede ser que vengan
los pastizales verdes, esta vuelta grises
inquietantes entre la vida deshilachada
la imagen, en la ventana del auto en carretera

vacas pastando, verde hasta la frontera y más
uniformes sobre huesos, sin más nombre
que el número en el brazo
como una lotería eterna de premios pospuestos

Esos campos ahora atracados de hierba
rozan los campos de praderas uruguayas
conviven en un diccionario que insiste
en separarlos con números