Saturday, July 01, 2006


In much of Borges poetry there is the sense of eternal prescence. Not prescence with a capital as of some specific or particular entity. The prescence of being present. We know how we came, we know how we will end, what we do not know for certain in how we are from moment to moment. But we can imagine. Or we can know that we do not know.

Poem Written in a Copy of Beowulf

At various times I have asked myself what reasons
moved me to study while my night came down,
without particular hope of satisfaction,
the language of the blunt tongued Anglo-Saxons.
Used up by the years my memory
loses its grip on words that I have vainly
repeated and repeated. My life in the same way
weaves and unweaves its weary history.
Then I tell myself: it must be that the soul
has some secret sufficient way of knowing
that it is immortal, that its vast encompassing
circle can take in all, accomplish all.
Beyond my anxiety and beyond this writing
the universe waits, inexhaustible, inviting.

A veces me pregunto que razones
Me mueven a estudiar sin esperanza
De precision, mientras mi noche avanza,
La lengua de los asperos sajones.
Gastada por los anos la memoria
Deja caer la en vano repetida
Palabra y es asi como mi vida
Teje y desteje su cansada historia.
Sera (me digo entonces) que de un modo
Secreto y suficiente el alama sabe
Que es immortal y que su vasto y grave
Circulo abarca todo y puede todo.
Mas alla de este afan y de este verso
Me aguarda inagotable el universo.


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