DISCOURSE as quilting

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remnant 20: “your absence will sadden other afternoons”

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Gifts are often unexpected and climb into your world in ways that can only be reconstructed in reverse.

I found a beautiful site on Twitter, To Light a Fire by Steve McCurry.

The site is composed of photographs and quotes about reading, and as I was looking through it, I was also working on a new poem:

in light of everything (snow blind)

I was drawn to quotes from C.S. Lewis and Jorge Luis Borges, leading me to see if the poem by Borges was in the wonderful dual-language volume I own:

It is a beautiful paperback book, and it does contain “Poem of the Gift.”

Today at work, I planned to pull that book off the shelf and look through it, reading that poem and others, but I kept forgetting. Just as I was about to leave, I came across an excerpt from Neil Gaiman’s new novel online: The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

I finished the excerpt and then felt compelled to find my copy of Gaiman’s American Gods, one of my favorite of all books. I could not find it, but my eyes fell upon my two books by Borges, the selected poems and the equally great volume of collected fictions. I pulled down the selected poems and placed it with the Murakami and Fish I am about to finish, just before realizing that American Gods was in my science fiction stack on a cart in front of the shelves.

At home, I opened the Borges, not quite able to recall the title of the poem I was interested in—and then I saw the handwritten Anne Sexton poem I had been trying to find for weeks, maybe months. I knew I had put it somewhere for safe keeping, but I had not been able to find it.

It is a dear object for me, a gift, “Knee Song” in an unforgettable hand…

in your hand copy

Gifts are often unexpected and climb into your world in ways that can only be reconstructed in reverse.


Jorge Luis Borges

Three hundred nights like three hundred walls
must rise between my love and me
and the sea will be a black art between us.

Nothing will be left but memories.
O afternoons earned with suffering,
nights hoping for the sight of you,
fields along my way, firmament
that I am seeing and losing…
Final as marble
your absence will sadden other afternoons.


Jorge Luis Borges

Entre mi amor y yo han de levantarse
trescientas noches como trescientas paredes
y el mar será una magia entre nosotros.

No habrá recuerdos.
Oh tardes merecidas por la pena,
noches esperanzadas de mirarte,
campos de mi camino, firmamento
que estoy viendo y perdiendo…

Definitiva como un mármol
entristecerá tu ausencia otras tardes.


Written by plthomasedd

June 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Posted in remnant 20

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