Sherlock Holmes (1985)

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Sherlock Holmes

por Jorge Luis Borges

He was not born of woman, he had no ancestor.
(Of Adam and Quijano before him this was so.)
He is composed of randomness. The to and fro
of wayward readers rule him, here and everywhere.

You would not be wrong to think that when the author first sees
his hero is the moment of birth or that his hero slips
into death whenever our memories suffer eclipse,
we who dream him. He is hollower than the breeze.

He is chaste. Knows nothing of love, not even the kiss.
Yes, this most virile of men has renounced the lover's art.
He lives in rooms in Baker Street, alone, and apart.
Another power he lacks is forgetfulness.

An Irishman dreamed him up, without any affection,
and even tried to kill him, they say. But all in vain:
magnifying glass in hand, in sun, in rain,
his strange fate was to interrupt an interruption.

He has no friends but never loses the devotion
of the other man, who was his evangelist,
noted his coups and miracles and left a list.
He lives in the safest, easiest place: the third person.

He goes down to the baths no more. Nor were they ever
frequented by the late Hamlet, that reclusive Dane
who is almost wholly ignorant of the domain
of the blue sword and the sea, the longbow and the quiver.

(Omnia sunt plena Jovis. In a similar way,
we will say of that innocent, the eponym of the play,
that his changeable, unquiet spirit wanders about
the various realms into which this globe is parcelled out.)

He pokes the damp logs in his fireplace into flames;
on the moors of the West Country he kills a dog from hell.
A tall man who does not know that he is perennial,
he solves the most trivial mysteries, quotes epigrams.

He comes to us from a foggy London, lit by gas,
a London all too conscious of being an empire's hub
(he is indifferent to this), a London of brothel and club,
who does not want to feel she is not what she was.

Let us not be surprised. After death's agony,
that single power we name either destiny or chance
affords to each of us that curious happenstance
of being echoes or forms that die day after day.

That die until the final day when oblivion,
which is our common goal, wipes us utterly away.
Before it arrives, let us amuse ourselves with the clay
of being here for a while, of being and having been.

Thinking of Sherlock Holmes some evening or afternoon
is one of the good habits we still have, to date.
Siestas and death are another. And so too is our fate
of rustic convalescence, or looking at the moon.

Robert Mezey and Richard Barnes

Notas:

* Todas las cosas están llenas de Júpiter

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Jorge-luis-borges


Otros poemas de Jorge Luis Borges (leer al azar)


Más vil que un lunapar
la carnicería rubrica como una afrenta la calle.
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Yo que soy un intruso en los jardines
que has prodigado a la plural memoria
del porvenir, quise cantar la gloria

Tuyo fue el ejercicio generoso
De la amistad genial. Era el hermano
A quien podemos, en la hora adversa,

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Si ello acontece, si en el decurso de los largos ju …

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De aquel hidalgo de cetrina y seca
tez y de heroico afán se conjetura
que, en víspera perpetua de aventura,

No arriesgue el mármol temerario
gárrulas transgresiones al todopoder del olvido,
enumerando con prolijidad

Nada. Sólo el cuchillo de Muraña.
Sólo en la tarde gris la historia trunca.
No sé por qué en las tardes me acompaña

Villa Urquiza, hemos dialogado firme en las tardes
y esta es la última vez que hacemos un verso.
Sé que para merecerte, debo ignorarte;

Resbalo por tu tarde como el cansancio por la pieda …
La noche nueva es como un ala sobre tus azoteas.
Eres el Buenos Aires que tuvimos, el que...

Dispersos en dispersas capitales,
solitarios y muchos,
jugábamos a ser el primer Adán

Ahí están los jardines, los templos, y la justifica …
la recta música y las rectas palabras,
los sesenta y cuatro hexagramas,

Le fue dada la música invisible
que es don del tiempo y que en el tiempo cesa;
le fue dada la trágica belleza,

Ni el pormenor simbólico
de reemplazar un tres por un dos
ni esa metáfora baldía

El primer puente de Constitución y a mis pies
Fragor de trenes que tejían laberintos de hierro.
Humo y silbatos escalaban la noche,

En la tarde de oro
o en una serenidad cuyo símbolo
podría ser la tarde de oro,

Esta mañana
hay en el aire la increíble fragancia
de las rosas del Paraíso.

A mí, tan luego, hablarme del finado Francisco Real …
Parece cuento, pero la historia de esa noche rarísi …
La caña, la milonga, el hemb...

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