el persa dijo en su lengua de aves y de rosas
Friday, June 08, 2018
|Rosa 'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain' June 18 2018|
Roses are of infinite variety. Which makes me think of:
Must leave her utterly.
Never, he will not:
Age cannot wither
her, nor custom stale
variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they
feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she
satisfies. . . .
Antony And Cleopatra Act 2, scene 2, 232–237
Besides Shakespeare when I look at roses past their peak
I think of Borges and his views on death. His most often thought is about not
doing something again or not viewing himself in a mirror. That poem is called
Límites which I will place below and its version in English, Limits.
The rose you see here (and you will be able to spot a fresh bloom) is Rosa ‘Souvenir du Docteur
Jamain’. It is a 19th century Hybrid Perpetual which means that now
that its flowering is over I might get some blooms later in the season. But
what is glorious about this rose (not all roses have this feature) is that if
it doesn’t rain (and it has not) the drying petals will not fall off. The
original deep red colour of its blooms darken to almost black. There is a
beauty in this death which is not really death as the plant itself will keep
On the other hand there is that 1994 novel by Gabriel
García Márquez Del amor y otros demonios, ( Of Love and Other Demons) where a
woman’s hair grows back on her skull when she is interred after death. I am not
thinking of that particular novel when I look at my Docteur Jamain in my back
Jorge Luís Borges
calles que ahondan el poniente,
habrá (no sé cuál) que he recorrido
última vez, indiferente
prefija omnipotentes normas
secreta y rígida medida
sombras, los sueños y las formas
destejen y tejen esta vida.
todo hay término y hay tasa
vez y nunca más y olvido
nos dirá de quién, en esta casa,
nos hemos despedido?
cristal ya gris la noche cesa
alto de libros que una trunca
dilata por la vaga mesa,
habrá que no leeremos nunca.
el Sur más de un portón gastado
jarrones de mampostería
que a mi paso está vedado
fuera una litografía.
siempre cerraste alguna puerta
y hay un
espejo que te aguarda en vano;
encrucijada te parece abierta
vigila, cuadrifronte, Jano*.
entre todas tus memorias, una
ha perdido irreparablemente;
verán bajar a aquella fuente
blanco sol ni la amarilla luna.
volverá tu voz a lo que el persa
su lengua de aves y de rosas,
al ocaso, ante la luz dispersa,
decir inolvidables cosas.
incesante Ródano y el lago,
ayer sobre el cual hoy me inclino?
perdido estará como Cartago
fuego y con sal borró el latino*.
el alba oír un atareado
multitudes que se alejan;
que me ha querido y olvidado;
tiempo y Borges ya me dejan.
Jorge Luís Borges
Of all the streets that blur in to the sunset,
There must be one (which, I am not sure)
That I by now have walked for the last time
Without guessing it, the pawn of that Someone
Who fixes in advance omnipotent laws,
Sets up a secret and unwavering scale
For all the shadows, dreams, and forms
Woven into the texture of this life.
If there is a limit to all things and a measure
And a last time and nothing more and forgetfulness,
Who will tell us to whom in this house
We without knowing it have said farewell?
Through the dawning window night withdraws
And among the stacked books which throw
Irregular shadows on the dim table,
There must be one which I will never read.
There is in the South more than one worn gate,
With its cement urns and planted cactus,
Which is already forbidden to my entry,
Inaccessible, as in a lithograph.
There is a door you have closed forever
And some mirror is expecting you in vain;
To you the crossroads seem wide open,
Yet watching you, four-faced, is a Janus
There is among all your memories one
Which has now been lost beyond recall.
You will not be seen going down to that fountain
Neither by white sun nor by yellow moon.
You will never recapture what the Persian
Said in his language woven with birds and roses,
When, in the sunset, before the light disperses,
You wish to give words to unforgettable things.
And the steadily flowing Rhone and the lake,
All that vast yesterday over which today I bend?
They will be as lost as Carthage,
Scourged by the Romans with fire and salt.
At dawn I seem to hear the turbulent
Murmur of crowds milling and fading away;
They are all I have been loved by, forgotten by;
Space, time, and Borges now are leaving me.