borges y yo.

Photo of Jorge Luis Borges in my cubicle
Borges walked the aisles of library upon library,
his hand on the arm of a lovely assistant. 
Mothered & honored, a reader,
a writer, poet & lecturer. A blind seer
speaking into auditoriums, from memory,
from centuries.

Borges, I too am moved by a love
of story & the sound of voices. A proud
citizen of one place & every place I read. 
What do you see when you look within? 
Do you remember a terrain before
the darkness? 

[Modeled after Clint Smith's "How Malcolm Learned to Read". Inspired by Borges's 1967-1968 Norton Lectures at Harvard and of course, by this]

7 responses to “borges y yo.”

  1. I enjoyed your short, pithy poem. I love your title in Spanish. My favorite line is “a proud citizen of one place and every place I read.”- Fantastic. And the part the will remain in my thoughts is the last- “do you remember a terrain before the darkness?” I wonder, what would I remember?


  2. Joel, this is both a wonderful tribute to Borge’s and a lovely response to Clint Smith’s poem. I need to read more Borges and about his blindness. I suspect he does have memories of “terrain before the darkness.” BTW, your poem sparks memories of my father, his blindness, his reading, his holding my arm as my eyes saw for us both.


  3. Thanks so much, Glenda! I used to close my AP lit with Labyrinths, and I miss it a lot. Oh, and judging from those Norton Lectures, Borges remembered *everything* : )


  4. So glad you’ve joined this community of Slicers Joel. Your secondary lens pushes me to think deeply about my own inspirations for my daily post. This poem is deep, rhythmic, and thought-provoking. Like Clint Smith, you’ve captured the essence of a beloved author and the ripples of his influence on literature so well.


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