Tell me, is the rose naked or is that her only dress? Why do trees conceal the splendor of their roots? Who hears the regrets of the thieving automobile? Is there anything in the world sadder than a train standing in the rain? — Pablo Neruda, “III,” The Book of Questions. Translated by William O’Daly.… Continue reading Pablo Neruda
En el contorno del límite Se complacen los objetos, Y su propia desnudez Los redondea: son ellos. In the sharpness of their edges Objects seem to take delight, And their own nakedness Fills them out: they are what they are. — Jorge Guillén, from “El Aire,” Cántico: A Selection, ed. Norman Thomas di Giovanni (Atlantic-Little,… Continue reading Jorge Guillén
The litle boy was looking for his voice. (The King of the crickets had it.) In a drop of water the little boy was looking for his voice. I do not want it for speaking with; I will make a ring of it so that he may wear my silence on his little finger. — … Continue reading Federico García Lorca
And as the wicked are always ungrateful, and necessity leads to evil doing, and immediate advantage overcomes all considerations of the future, Ginés, who was neither grateful nor well-principled, made up his mind to steal Sancho Panza’s ass. ― Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote. Published by Francisco de Robles 1605 (Part One), 1615 (Part Two). … Continue reading Miguel de Cervantes
But what is memory if not the language of feeling, a dictionary of faces and days and smells which repeat themselves like the verbs and adjectives in a speech, sneaking in behind the thing itself, into the pure present, making us sad or teaching us vicariously… — Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch. (Pantheon; 1st Pantheon pbk. ed… Continue reading Julio Cortázar
There is such loneliness in that gold. The moon of the nights is not the moon Who the first Adam saw. The long centuries Of human vigil have filled her With ancient lament. Look at her. She is your mirror. — Jorge Luis Borges, “The Moon,” Jorge Luis Borges: Selected Poems, edited by Alexander Coleman… Continue reading Jorge Luis Borges
I have been Homer; shortly, I shall be No One, like Ulysses; shortly, I shall be all men; I shall be dead. — Jorge Luis Borges, from “The Immortal,” Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings. (New Directions; Augmented edition 1964) Originally published 1962.