Jorge Luis Borges: “Las Calles / The Streets”

LAS CALLES

Las calles de Buenos Aires
ya son mi entraña.
No las ávidas calles,
incómodas de turba y de ajetreo,
sino las calles desganadas del barrio,
casi invisibles de habituales,
enternecidas de penumbra y de ocaso
y aquellas más afuera
ajenas de árboles piadosos
donde austeras casitas apenas se aventuran,
abrumadas por inmortales distancias,
a perderse en la honda visión
de cielo y de llanura.
Son para el solitario una promesa
porque millares de almas singulares las pueblan,
únicas ante Dios y en el tiempo
y sin duda preciosas.
Hacia el Oeste, el Norte y el Sur
se han desplegado–y son también la patria–las calles:
ojalá en versos que trazo
estén esas banderas.

Jorge Luis Borges
(de la edición 1969 de Fervor de Buenos Aires)

Photo: Las calles de San Telmo por Libertinus

THE STREETS

My soul is in the streets
of Buenos Aires.
Not the greedy streets
jostling with crowds and traffic,
but the neighborhood streets where nothing is happening,
almost invisible by force of habit,
rendered eternal in the dim light of sunset,
and the ones even farther out,
empty of comforting trees,
where austere little houses scarcely venture,
overwhelmed by deathless distances,
losing themselves in the deep expanse
of sky and plains.
For the solitary one they are a promise
because thousands of singular souls inhabit them,
unique before God and in time
and no doubt precious.
To the West, the North, and the South
unfold the streets–and they too are my country;
within these lines I trace
may their flags fly.

Translation by Stephen Kessler

~ by matt on 19 August 2008.

2 Responses to “Jorge Luis Borges: “Las Calles / The Streets””

  1. […] https://matthewsalomon.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/jorge-luis-borges-las-calles/ […]

  2. […] Link zu Borges “Las Calles/ The Streets”. « The Sounds of Surfing at JAWS […]

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