Method for Calculating Time by Daniel Calabrese – translated by Katherine Hedeen

Those who live on this side of the route

know about compensation:

every time someone goes by headed toward the South

they write down the exact time

and let a stone fall into the void of being.


Those who live on the other side

know polarity:

every time someone goes by the other way,

coming back,

they write it down too,

but they take a stone out of the void of being.


And so some fill their void

and others empty it.


After a while

those who’ve filled their void

cross the old bridge (which was new)

and patiently wait

for the returners from the South to go by,

one after another,

until the void is complete.



Daniel Calabrese is an Argentinian poet, born in Dolores, Buenos Aires Province. He has lived in Santiago de Chile since 1991, where he is deeply involved in the literary life of his adopted country. The poems here belong to Ruta Dos / Route 2, winner of the Revista de Libros Prize in Chile, published with the prestigious Spanish press Visor, and praised by Chilean poet Raúl Zurita as an ‘outstanding example … of the power and originality of today’s Latin American poetry.’ Calabrese is also the founder and editor of Ærea, one of the most exciting and innovative independent presses in Latin America.

Katherine M. Hedeen is a translator, literary critic, and essayist. A specialist in Latin American poetry, her publications include book-length collections by Jorgenrique Adoum, Juan Bañuelos, Juan Calzadilla, Juan Gelman, Fayad Jamís, Hugo Mujica, José Emilio Pacheco, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, and Ida Vitale, among many others. She is a recipient of two NEA Translation grants in the US and a PEN Translates award in the UK. She is the Associate Editor for Action Books and the Poetry in Translation Editor at the Kenyon Review. More information here: