These poems are from Do Desejo (Of Desire), the first book within the homonymous compilation made of five books by Hilda Hilst: Do desejo, Da noite, Amavisse, Alcoólicas, and Sobre tua grande face. The compilation first appeared in 1992 from the publisher Pontes and then was published again by Globo with an introduction by Alcir Pécora. These five books explore desire, what it is, what it means.
In these poems we see Hilst’s relentless inquiry and will to be in conversation with desire — always questioning, surrendering, critiquing, and looking at desire as an other and as herself experiencing it.
I started reading and studying Hilda Hilst’s poetry during my PhD in Spanish and Portuguese. I fell in love with her poetry, because it is so profound, intellectual, and, at the same time, unapologetic and playful. I have carried out research on her work at Centro de Documentação Cultural “Alexandre Eulalio” (CEDAE- IEL-UNICAMP) in Campinas, Brazil, and I have been fortunate to spend time writing and translating at Instituto Hilda Hilst / Casa do Sol as part of a writing residency.about the author