Traductor invitado


Poem of the Gifts

To Maria Esther Vasquez

No one should read self-pity or reproach
Into this statement of the majesty
Of God, who with such splendid irony
Granted me books and blindness at one touch.

Care of this city of books he handed over
To sightless eyes, which now can do no more
Than read in libraries of dream the poor
And senseless paragraphs that dawns deliver

To wishful scrutiny. In vain the day
Squanders on these same eyes its infinite tomes,
As distant as the inaccessible volumes
Which perished once in Alexandria.

From hunger and from thirst (in the Greek story)
A king lies dying among gardens and fountains.
Aimlessly, endlessly, I trace the confines,
High and profound, of this blind library.

Cultures of East and West, the entire atlas,
Encyclopaedias, centuries, dynasties,
Symbols, the cosmos, and cosmogonies
Are offered from the walls, all to no purpose.

In shadow, with a tentative stick, I try
The hollow twilight, slow and imprecise –
I, who had always thought of Paradise
In form and image as a library.

Something, which certainly is not defined
By the word fate, arranges all these things;
Another man was given, on other evenings,
Now gone, these many books. He too was blind.

Wandering through the gradual galleries,
I often feel with vague and holy dread
I am that other dead one, who attempted
The same uncertain steps on similar days.

Which of the two is setting down this poem –
A single sightless self, a plural I?
What can it matter, then, the name that names me,
Given our curse is common and the same?

Groussac or Borges, now I look upon
This dear world losing shape, fading away
Into a pale uncertain ashy-gray
That feels like sleep, or else oblivion.