The poverty of yesterday was less squalid than the poverty we purchase with our industry today.
Fortunes were smaller then as well.
(The Elderly Lady)
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.
As I think of the many myths, there is one that is very harmful, and that is the myth of countries. I mean, why should I think of myself as being an Argentine, and not a Chilean, and not an Uruguayan.
I don't know really.
All of those myths that we impose on ourselves — and they make for hatred, for war, for enmity — are very harmful.
Well, I suppose in the long run, governments and countries will die out and we'll be just, well, cosmopolitans.* --J. L. Borges
Jorge Luis Borges (24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was an Argentine writer who is considered one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th century.
Most famous in the English speaking world for his short stories and fictive essays, Borges was also a poet, critic, translator and man of letters.
Words by Jorge Luis Borges
"All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art." ----- J.L. Borges
"Doubt is one of the names of intelligence."
"May Heaven exist, even if my place is Hell.
Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated,
but let there be one instant, one creature,
wherein thy enormous Library may find its justification."
"Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy.
(Statement to the Argentine Society of Letters, c.1946)
I would define the baroque as that style that deliberately exhausts (or tries to exhaust) its own possibilities, and that borders on self-caricature.
The baroque is the final stage in all art, when art flaunts and squanders its resources.
(A Universal History of Iniquity, preface to the 1954 edition)
Do you want to see what human eyes have never seen?
Look at the moon.
Do you want to hear what ears have never heard?
Listen to the bird's cry.
Do you want to touch what hands have never touched?
Touch the earth.
Verily I say that God is about to create the world.
Years of solitude had taught him that, in one's memory, all days tend to be the same, but that there is not a day, not even in jail or in the hospital, which does not bring surprises, which is not a translucent network of minimal surprises.
Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.
Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands pronunciation.
Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song.
(The Divine Comedy) (1977)
Time carries him as the river carries
A leaf in the downstream water.
No matter. The enchanted one insists
And shapes God with delicate geometry.
Since his illness, since his birth,
He goes on constructing God with the word.
The mightiest love was granted him
Love that does not expect to be loved.