Jorge Luis Borges: Poet, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Librarian

April is National Poetry Month and this week is National Library Week, so who better to feature than Jorge Luis Borges? Borges was born in Argentina and contributed much to Latin American literature. In 1955 he was appointed the director of  La Biblioteca Nacional (The National Public Library) in Buenos Aires. He imagined “that Paradise will be a kind of library,” and we couldn’t agree more! The Seeley G. Mudd Library has many Borges-related resources including video, audio and many, many books in both Spanish and English.  If you’re interested in Borges’ works head up to the 3rd floor and look under call numbers PQ7797.B63. If you’re interested in other materials on his life and/or works please ask one of our Reference Librarians who would love to help you find more information on this fellow librarian. In the meantime here’s one of his poems. Enjoy!

That One

Jorge Luis Borges

Oh days devoted to the useless burden
of putting out of mind the biography
of a minor poet of the Southem Hemisphere,
to whom the fates or perhaps the stars have given
a body which will leave behind no child,
and blindness, which is semi-darkness and jail,
and old age, which is the dawn of death,
and fame, which absolutely nobody deserves,
and the practice of weaving hendecasyllables,
and an old love of encyclopedias
and fine handmade maps and smooth ivory,
and an incurable nostalgia for the Latin,
and bits of memories of Edinburgh and Geneva
and the loss of memory of names and dates,
and the cult of the East, which the varied peoples
of the teeming East do not themselves share,
and evening trembling with hope or expectation,
and the disease of entymology,
and the iron of Anglo-Saxon syllables,
and the moon, that always catches us by surprise,
and that worse of all bad habits, Buenos Aires,
and the subtle flavor of water, the taste of grapes,
and chocolate, oh Mexican delicacy,
and a few coins and an old hourglass,
and that an evening, like so many others,
be given over to these lines of verse.