Archives for posts with tag: Argentine writers

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MUSIC BOX
by Jorge Luis Borges

Music of Japan. Parsimoniously
from the water clock the drops unfold
in lazy honey or ethereal gold
that over time reiterates a weave
eternal, fragile, enigmatic, bright.
I fear that every one will be the last.
They are a yesterday come from the past.
But from what shrine, from what mountain’s slight
garden, what vigils by an unknown sea,
and from what modest melancholy, from
what lost and rediscovered afternoon
do they arrive at their far future: me?
Who knows? No matter. When I hear it play
I am. I want to be. I bleed away.

—translated by Tony Barnstone

ILLUSTRATION: Music Box from Japan (1950s) available at etsy.com.

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THE ART OF POETRY
by Jorge Luis Borges

To gaze at a river made of time and water
and remember Time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces vanish like water.
 
To feel that waking is another dream
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.
 
To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound, and a symbol.
 
To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness–such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.
 
Sometimes at evening there’s a face
that sees us from the deeps of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror,
disclosing to each of us his face.
 
They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.
 
Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.

—translated by Anthony Kerrigan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) was an Argentine short story writer, essayist, poet, and translator. His most famous books, Ficciones (1944) and The Aleph (1949), are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes such as dreams, labyrinths, libraries, mirrors, animals, fictional writers, philosophy, religion, and God. Borges’s works have contributed to philosophical literature and also to both the fantasy and magical realism genres. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

PAINTING: “Branch of the Seine Near Giverny [II]” by Claude Monet (1897)