QOTD (2010-01-25)

By Jorge Luis Borges, trans. M. Picciotto:

Camden, 1892

The smell of coffee and the daily news.
Another Sunday and the Sunday blues.
Morning. Printed on a hazy page,
some happy other poet’s vain displays
of allegoric verse. And in this place,
poor but still well-kept, the old man lies
white and flat in bed. His idle eyes
look in the tired mirror at his face.
He thinks – it doesn’t shock him now – that face
is him. His absent-minded fingertips
pluck at his muddy beard and plundered lips.
The end is not far off. His voice now says:
I almost am not. But my lines keep the rhythm
of life and its splendor. I was Walt Whitman.

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