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This landmark collection brings together for the first time in any language all of the sonnets of Jorge Luis Borges. More intimate and personally revealing than his fiction, and more classical in form than the inventive metafictions that are his hallmark, the sonnets reflect Borges in full maturity, paying homage to many of his literary and philosophical paragons-Cervantes, Milton, Whitman, Emerson, Joyce, Spinoza-while at the same time engaging the mysteries immanent in the quotidian. A distinguished team of translators-Edith Grossman, Willis Barnstone, John Updike, Mark Strand, Robert Fitzgerald, Alastair Reid, Charles Tomlinson, and Stephen Kessler-lend their gifts to these sonnets, many of which appear here in English for the first time, and all of which accompany their Spanish originals on facing pages.
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) published numerous collections of poems, essays, and fiction and received various literary awards over the course of his career, including the International Publishers' Prize, the Jerusalem Prize, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize. Stephen Kessler is a poet, translator, essayist, and editor. He is the author of numerous books of poetry and the translator of books by Julio Cortazar, Vicente Aleixandre, Luis Cernuda, and Pablo Neruda, among others.
"Music Box" by Jorge Luis Borges
Music of Japan. Drops of slow honey Or of invisible gold are dispersed In a miserly way from a water clock, And repeat in time a weaving that is Eternal, fragile, mysterious, and clear. I fear that each one may be the last. It's a past coming back. From what temple, From what fresh garden in the mountain, From what vigil before an unknown sea, From what shyness of melancholy, From what lost and ransomed afternoon Does its remote future come to me? I cannot know. No matter. I am In that music. I want to be. I bleed.