'Anticipation of Love' and other poems by Jorge Luis Borges

In the dream of the man who was dreaming, the dreamt man awoke 

The Circular Ruins (short story, pdf

(Links to sources are embedded in the titles)

Anticipation of Love

Neither the intimacy of your look, your brow fair as a feast day,
nor the favor of your body, still mysterious, reserved, and childlike,
nor what comes to me of your life, settling in words or silence, will be so mysterious a gift
as the sight of your sleep, enfolded
in the vigil of my arms.
Virgin again, miraculously, by the absolving power of sleep,
quiet and luminous like some happy thing recovered by memory,
you will give me that shore of your life that you yourself do not own.
Cast up into silence
I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being
and see you for the first time, perhaps,
as God must see you --
the fiction of Time destroyed,
free from love, from me.

(translated by Alastair Read)

The Just

A man who cultivates his garden, as Voltaire wished.
He who is grateful for the existence of music.
He who takes pleasure in tracing an etymology.
Two workmen playing, in a café in the South, a silent game of chess.
The potter, contemplating a color and a form.
The typographer who sets this page well, though it may not please him.
A woman and a man, who read the last tercets of a certain canto.
He who strokes a sleeping animal.
He who justifies, or wishes to, a wrong done him.
He who is grateful for the existence of a Stevenson.
He who prefers others to be right.
These people, unaware, are saving the world.

'Borges seems to be saying that more mysterious and magical than dreams or other worlds are the voices and words of our loved ones; beauty is a daily revelation, and happiness, the intelligence of understanding and recognition. Borges has become our classic voice of wonder' - Julio Ortega

The Moon

History tells us how in that past time
When all things happened, real,
Imaginary, and dubious, a man
Conceived the unconscionable plan

Of making an abridgment of the universe
In a single book and with infinite zest
He towered his screed up, lofty and
Strenuous, polished it, spoke the final verse.

About to offer his thanks to fortune,
He lifted up his eyes and saw a burnished
Disc in the air and realized, stunned,
That somehow he had forgotten the moon.

The story I have told, although a tale.. 

... read the full poem here

(Dedication of The moon for Maria Kodama)

There is such loneliness in that gold
The moon of the nights is not the moon
Whom the first Adam saw. The long centuries
Of human vigil have filled her
With ancient lament. Look at her. She is your mirror.

The Maker

We are the river you spoke of, Heraclitus
We are time. Its tangible course
Carries lions and mountains along
The tears of love, the ashes of pleasure
Insidious interminable hope,
Immense names of empires turned to dust
Hexameters of the Greeks and Romans,
A gloomy ocean under the power of dawn
Sleep, that foretaste of death
Weapons and the warrior, monuments,
The two faces of Janus ignorant of each other,
The ivory labryinths woven
By chess pieces moving over the board,
The red hand of Macbeth which has the power,
To turn the seas to blood, the secret
Working of clocks in the shadows,
A boundless mirror which regards itself
In another mirror and no one there to see them,
Steel engravings, Gothic lettering,
A bar of sulfur left in a cabinet,
The heavy tollings of insomnia,
Sunrises and sunsets and twilights,
Echoes, undertows, sand, lichen, dreams,
I am nothing but those images
Shuffled by chance and named by tedium,
From them, even though I am blind and broken,
I must craft the incorruptible lines
And (this is my duty) save myself


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