Monthly Archives: July 2010

Two English Poems

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Two English Poems
Jorge Luis Borges

I

The useless dawn finds me in a deserted streetcorner; I
have outlived the night.
Nights are proud waves: darkblue topheavy waves laden
with all hues of deep spoil, laden with things unlikely
and desirable.
Nights have a habit of mysterious gifts and refusals, of
things half given away, half withheld, of joys with a
dark hemisphere. Nights act that way, I tell you.
The surge, that night, left me the customary shreds and
odd ends: some hated friends to chat with, music for
dreams, and the smoking of bitter ashes. The things
my hungry heart has no use for.
The big wave brought you.
Words, any words, your laughter; and you so lazily and
incessantly beautiful. We talked and you have forgotten the words.
The shattering dawn finds me in a deserted street of my
city.
Your profile turned away, the sounds that go to make your name, the lilt of your
laughter; these are illustrious
toys you have left me.
I turn them over in the dawn, I lose them, I find them; I tell them to the few stray dogs
and to the few stray
stars of the dawn.
Your dark rich life…
I must get at you, somehow: I put away those illustrious
toys you have left me, I want your hidden look, your
real smile -that lonely, mocking smile your cool mirror
knows.

II

What can I hold you with?
I offer you lean streets, desperate sunsets, the moon of
the jagged suburbs.
I offer you the bitterness of a man who has looked long
and long at the lonely moon.
I offer you my ancestors, my dead men, the ghosts that
living men have honoured in bronze: my father’s father
killed in the frontier of Buenos Aires, two bullets
through his lungs, bearded an dead, wrapped by his
soldiers in the hide of a cow; my mother’s grandfather
-just twentyfour- heading a charge of three hundred
men in Peru, now ghosts on vanished horses.
I offer you whatever insight my books may hold,
whatever manliness or humour my life.
I offer you the loyalty of a man who has never been loyal.
I offer you that kernel of myself that I have saved, somehow
-the central heart that deals not in words, traffics
not with dreams and is untouched by time, by joy, by
adversities.
I offer you the memory of a yellow rose seen at sunset,
years before you were born.
I offer you explanations of yourself, theories about yourself,
authentic and surprising news of yourself.
I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of
my heart; I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty,
with danger, with defeat.

A lull before the storm

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I have come to the conclusion that I’m a terrible face reader. See, I was very happy and excited about being back in Buenos Aires, and trying to work on some business ideas. Little did I know before this morning, that what I stupidly took to be life smiling at me, was actually life bearing its teeth. Right now I feel like a storm was unleashed on me, and I was not prepared at all for it.

I’m not in a religious quest, I don’t look up to “Heaven” (or whatever you might call it) for comfort; and I’m not suicidal. But I am desperately trying to hold on to the joy and beauty that I always thought life was made of. That’s what reminded me of a particular scene from “Hannah and her sisters”.

I’m trying to get to the point where I can sit back and enjoy myself again.

Tonight… and tomorrow

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Tonight is my last night in Barcelona, and tomorrow, I’ll be in Buenos Aires. But not only that, I’ll be turning 25! Yes, arrival and birthday on the same day: I like economizing on celebrations =P

Anyway, as my last “Spanish” post, I’ll share with you yet another discovery made in a sleepless night: a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Enjoy! And I’ll “see” you in Buenos Aires!

Tonight

Do not strike the chord of sorrow tonight!
Days burning with pain turn to ashes.
Who knows what happens tomorrow?
Last night is lost; tomorrow’s frontier wiped out:
Who knows if there will be another dawn?
Life is nothing, it’s only tonight!
Tonight we can be what the gods are!

Do not strike the chord of sorrow, tonight!
Do not repeat stories of sufferings now,
Do not complain, let your fate play its role,
Do not think of tomorrows, give a damn–
Shed no tears for seasons gone by,
All sighs and cries wind up their tales,
Oh, do not strike the same chord again!

Back to the start

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Cartoon by xkcd

Life has a way of doing away with all our plans, doesn’t it? Up until yesterday, I was sure that I would be going to Shanghai in September for six months. Now, it turns out that the conditions of the offer changed because of the crisis and I finally decided no to take the job after all. My new plan? Going back to Argentina indefinitely, and start working on some ideas and projects that I have been developing for some time. The funny thing about this situation is that I’m not disappointed at all! As xkcd’s cartoon says, it’s scary when your plans crumble down, and I feel lost in a way, but at the same time, I find the idea of starting from scratch very exciting. It is beautiful to find that there is no path to follow sometimes.