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Monday, September 29, 2014

To a Saxon Poet - by Jorge Borges

The snowfalls of Northumbria have known
and have forgotten the imprint of your feet,
and numberless are the suns that now have set
between your time and mine, my ghostly kinsman.
Slow in the growing shadows you would fashion
metaphors of swords on the great seas
and of the horror lurking in the pine trees
and of the loneliness the days brought in.
Where can your features and your name be found?
These are things buried in oblivion.
Now I shall never know how it must have been
for you, as a living man who walked his ground.
Exiled, you wandered through your lonely ways.
Now you live only in your iron lays.

Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by Alastair Reid (1968)

The Times Literary Supplement

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