Translated from the Spanish by Thomas Frick
Night that deepens into dream.
Morning that once was dawn.
Day that was morning.
Overflowing day that will be a spent evening.
Night, the other costume of time.
In the dawn, the secret anguish
of the Ephesian.
What weave is this
of will be, is, and was?
lies under the Ganges?
What river has no source?
drags along mythologies and swords?
Sleeping is useless.
Through the dream, through the desert,
through the cellar,
the river carries me, and I am the river.
I was made of delicate substance, mysterious time.
Perhaps the source is within me.
Perhaps the days emerge,
fatal and illusory,
from my shadow.
Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires on August 24, 1899. He died on June 14, 1986 in Geneva—where, he wrote, he had felt “mysteriously happy”—and is buried in the Cemetery of Kings there. (updated 7/2009)
“A Master in Montreal: A 1968 Interview with Jorge Luis Borges” by Don Bell appeared in AGNI 52.