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Borges: Selected Poems de Jorge Luis Borges
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Borges: Selected Poems (edição: 2000)

de Jorge Luis Borges

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Though universally acclaimed for his dazzling fictions, Jorge Luis Borges always considered himself first and foremost a poet. This new bilingual selection brings together some two hundred poems -- the largest collection of Borges' poetry ever assembled in English, including scores of poems never previously translated. Edited by Alexander Coleman, the selection draws from a lifetime's work -- from Borges' first published volume of verse, Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923), to his final work, Los conjurados, published just a year before his death in 1986. Throughout this unique collection the brilliance of the Spanish originals is matched by luminous English versions by a remarkable cast of translators, including Robert Fitzgerald, Stephen Kessler, W. S. Merwin, Alastair Reid, Mark Strand, Charles Tomlinson, and John Updike.… (mais)
Membro:tyrell.northcutt
Título:Borges: Selected Poems
Autores:Jorge Luis Borges
Informação:Penguin Books (2000), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 496 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Selected Poems de Jorge Luis Borges

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Prior to first reading something by Borges in 2019, I had thought I would never again come across a writer who could fundamentally surprise and enthral me. By that point, I had read hundreds of creditable books and identified a number of favourite authors; from a baseline of zero, I had developed idiosyncratic tastes and preferences in a deep pool of literature. I had exhausted the entire corpuses of some of my favoured writers, and thought nothing would ever again have that sort of newness and originality I found in my initial explorations. Nothing compares to the excitement of your first loves.

Then I found Borges, even though he'd never been hidden. This was, remarkably, something new and original, and I've been delighted by each of his stories I've read since. Even so, I was a bit wary of picking up his Selected Poems. I can't really explain why, as I enjoy poetry, including Spanish-language poetry, but something in me told me that his careful, laconic writing style and inverted metaphysical fantasies threatened to come across as archaic, indulgent and obtuse in a poem.

This assumption proved so ridiculously wide of the mark that Borges' Selected Poems has been one of the most enjoyable reading experiences since… well, since my last Borges collection. In fact, his poems here are so closely aligned to his incredible short stories that they're all but interchangeable. In one of the prologues to the collections anthologised here (yes, even his prologues are fascinating), Borges declares that "the differences between prose and verse are slight" (pg. 267), and that's certainly the case for his own offerings in each medium. Selected Poems even includes a few additions that might be better classified as short stories, including, as the second-to-last selection, a rather cool metaphysical ghost story.

Part of the reason for the writer's success as a poet is his erudition and craft; Selected Poems covers his entire 60+ year career, and were it not for the chronological order of the book you would not necessarily be able to tell the years apart. The only difference with the later poems – aside from perhaps, to more astute eyes than mine, a better grasp of form – is that new themes of "old age and ethics" have been added to "the mirrors, mazes and swords that my resigned reader expects" (pg. 265). Rather than plot or character or lyric, Borges leads with the idea, and his consistency across the decades confirms something I've long believed: that there are some ideas which can only be delivered in a poem, others that can only be told in a short story, and some which deserve a novel. It is the medium that must be found that best fits the idea.

And Borges' ideas are among the best. Contrary to his self-deprecating observation quoted above, he writes about more than mirrors, mazes and swords. There are deep metaphysical concepts, arresting characters and wine-dark imagery, all rendered in that cool, laconic style which will be deeply familiar to readers of his short stories. Selected Poems has a number of different translators, not only from collection to collection but from poem to poem, but Borges' voice is the dominant one. Aptly enough, for a bilingual poet, you easily forget that they have been translated. Borges resonates strangely but powerfully in English, and while I will continue to explore his work, I'm glad I've taken this lucrative diversion into his poetry. Never doubt Borges – not one of his labyrinths will ever lead you astray. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jan 31, 2021 |
This was a very decent of poems by the skilled Borges. The topics, and style, ranges widely and this is one of the collection's great strengths. The subject matter is deep, inspiring, and sophisticated. It was a good read.

3.5 stars. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Mar 9, 2020 |
Although I got sort of suspicious of some of these translations (despite the celebrity names), Borges' eclectic humor and intelligence rang clear throughout most of these works. My favorite English versions came from W.S. Merwin, but when I was able to read the Spanish versions, they trumped all. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
Although I got sort of suspicious of some of these translations (despite the celebrity names), Borges' eclectic humor and intelligence rang clear throughout most of these works. My favorite English versions came from W.S. Merwin, but when I was able to read the Spanish versions, they trumped all. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
God has created nights well-populated
with dreams, crowded with mirror images,
so that man may feel that he is nothing more
than vain reflection. That's what frightens us.


Was it Dr. Johnson who marveled over Montaigne, how could he know what I had been thinking? It doesn't matter, it could have been Walter Benjamin pondering Spinoza on both of those frontiers. History is mute, amused sufficiently with bumps and reversals. Plagues and witch hunts pass the time. It could also have been Boris Johnson, weighing what he had assisted, not worrying about Whitman or Chekhov. Not really worrying at all. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Borges, Jorge Luisautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Coleman, AlexanderEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Though universally acclaimed for his dazzling fictions, Jorge Luis Borges always considered himself first and foremost a poet. This new bilingual selection brings together some two hundred poems -- the largest collection of Borges' poetry ever assembled in English, including scores of poems never previously translated. Edited by Alexander Coleman, the selection draws from a lifetime's work -- from Borges' first published volume of verse, Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923), to his final work, Los conjurados, published just a year before his death in 1986. Throughout this unique collection the brilliance of the Spanish originals is matched by luminous English versions by a remarkable cast of translators, including Robert Fitzgerald, Stephen Kessler, W. S. Merwin, Alastair Reid, Mark Strand, Charles Tomlinson, and John Updike.

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