main | Vacant room | Dawning | Butcher shop | Simplicity | Farewell | Dulcia Linquimus Arva | Last sun in Villa Ortúzar | Mythical founding of Buenos Aires | Deathwatch on the Southside | Buenos Aires Deaths | Chess | Quatrain | Cyclical Night | A thirteenth-century poet | Susana Soca | Camden, 1892 | A Northside knife | Milonga of Albornoz | New England, 1967 | The labyrinth | Invocation to Joyce | Tankas | Susana Bombal | Things | Menaced | You | Poem of quantity | The sentinel | To the German language | 1891 | Hengist asks for men, A.D. 449 | Browning poet resolves to be | Suicide | I am | Fifteen coins | Blind man | 1972 | Elegy | The exile (1977) | In memory of Angelica | My books | Talismans | The white deer | The profound rose | Mexico | Herman Melville | To Johannes Brahms | Baruch Spinoza | Alhambra | Music box | Adam is your ashes | On acquiring an encyclopedia | Nostalgia for the present | The accomplice | Shinto | The cipher | My last tiger | The cypress leaves | The weft
I feared the yet-to-be
(which now declines)
would be a profound corridor of mirrors
indistinct, otiose and shrinking,
a repetition of vanities,
and in the penumbra that precedes sleep
I begged my gods, whose names I do not know,
to send something or someone to my days.
They did. It is my country. My forefathers
served it with long proscriptions,
penuries, hungers, battles,
here again is the handsome risk.
I am not those tutelary shades
I praised with verses time will not forget.
I am blind. I have lived my seventy;
I am not the Easterner Francisco Borges
who died with two bullets in his chest,
among the agonies of men,
in the stench of a hospital of blood,
but my country, profaned today wants
me with my obscure grammarian's pen,
learned in academic nimieties
and having nothing to do with the work of the sword,
to congregate the epic's great rumor
and so demand my place. I am doing it.