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Visitors' Comments about:

Instants

Jorge Luis Borges

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first comment
2002-03-24
Added by: Steven Baril
ironic that reader #169 has the first comment:

borges wrote letters, and made words, and then worlds, from the single most drop of ink, and that drop of ink expanded outward, and then inward without the slightest movement of his hands, but also with the great effort of a million lives lived and passed.

his thought of a single library and it's infinite mass is more than the history of all things living and dead.

Instants is a poem of ageless reflection, a world unending, and life and death constant through the great hall of mirrors.
2002-04-20
Added by: mona
Is that really your opinion on "Instants"?
I had to go back and check if I was reading the comment on the right poem.
Yes, Borges wrote a lot about mirrors, labyrinths, infinite libraries.
But I donīt see any of those motives in this poem.
The question is- if mom says "put on your coat before you go out/ donīt talk to strangers/ etc." (Iīm exaggerating) is she right?
My father told me that his grandmother when she was over 70 said to her grandchildren (who were hippies back then):
O.k., Iīve always done what I was supposed to in my life. Iīm fed up, Iīm old enough. Let me try some marihuana.
(Iīm not saying that my father or his siblings smoked, but thatīs what she said, according to stories.)
I think Borges was still hungry for life when he was old. Thatīs what the poem tells me.
Instants
2002-08-13
Added by: David La Bounty
borges poetry is different FROM his short stories, more personal I think...
I think he was very studious and meticulous in life and it held him back FROM times of joy
Is it really Borges?
2002-09-04
Added by: Maramyanet
I was on another website that claims that this poem was not written by Jorge Luis Borges. The site claims that it was written by another poet, but by mistake was mistaken as one of Borges' poems.
Inquiry
2003-01-27
Added by: Eric Trunnell
The poem attributed here to Jorge Luis Borges, has also been attributed to Virginia Stair in the book by Rick Fields and others called Chop wood carry water published by Tarcher in the mid 80s. My question is who actually wrote the poem? If Borges did, where is it published? I have a copy of the Viking publication of his Selected Poems (1999) and the poem Instant is nothing like this translation.

I am very confused.
2003-03-16
Added by: Lewis Husain
I love this poem and first read it when studying Spanish. I was given it as it's all in the second conditional & my teacher wanted to practice that point.

I think it's an amazing poem that shows regret for a life not lead, but it's all the more important (if it is indeed by Borges) because it is a very personal piece of writing, unlike pretty much anything else he wrote.

However, I think this translation is an abomination. Gramatically it's completely different because of the replacement of the second conditional by the first, which is a great shift in emphasis - in translation it's as if the author *expects* to come back - the effect of the first conditional over the second. It also lacks any rhythm, the truncated "I'lls" of the English version have nothing of the majesty & regret of the longer, more melancholy Spanish original.

So, a womderful poem, but woefully in need of a new translation.
2003-10-25
Added by: paola
this poem doesnt have borges style at all, it is not in none of his books, at least, it was never published with his signature, I really don't think this is borges, I doesnt seems Borges at all, has nothing to do with rest of his work wich is more ricc and complex
Pure Borges
2004-03-06
Added by: Mirta
"Instants" is pure Borges to me. That's the way he talked, his vision of life when he was aging, his expressions when interviewed, his permanent cocktail of irony and melancoly.

As soon as I read the firs lines I recognized him (I didn't know there was doubt about the author to this poem). From a psychological point of view at least, it's very him. True, his poems differ from other types of writing. True the translation somewhat distorts the sense.
"Instantes" is not from Borges
2004-08-28
Added by: Jorge Heguilor
I'm Argentinian, and the matter was widely disclaimed in the local papers. It seems the poem has been attributed to more than one writer.

Stylistically, it's too new age and touchy feelie to be Borges'.
Not Borges
2004-11-09
Added by: Simon Moon
While the poem, "Incedentes", makes a single and resounding great point, it by no means reflects the immense thought process and knowledge of Jorge Borges. His style is different; Borges wrote in parabols and riddles, and tended to focus on ideas that are too obscure for most lamens to comprehend. Such is apparently not the nature of this quaint, sentimental poem.

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