History Of The Night
Throughout the course of the generations
men constructed the night.
At first she was blindness;
thorns raking bare feet,
fear of wolves.
We shall never know who forged the word
for the interval of shadow
dividing the two twilights;
we shall never know in what age it came to mean
the starry hours.
Others created the myth.
They made her the mother of the unruffled Fates
that spin our destiny,
they sacrificed black ewes to her, and the cock
who crows his own death.
The Chaldeans assigned to her twelve houses;
to Zeno, infinite words.
She took shape from Latin hexameters
and the terror of Pascal.
Luis de Leon saw in her the homeland
of his stricken soul.
Now we feel her to be inexhaustible
like an ancient wine
and no one can gaze on her without vertigo
and time has charged her with eternity.
And to think that she wouldn’t exist
except for those fragile instruments, the eyes.
Jorge Luis Borges
Born: 24 August 1899, Buenos Aries, Argentina
Died: 14 June 1986, Geneva, Switzerland
Borges was a short-story writer, poet, essayist, and translator. A key figure in Spanish-language literature he is best known for his books Ficiones and El Aleph, both published in the 1940s, Borges’ works have contributed to philosophical literature and the fantasy genre and are considered to mark the beginning of the Magic Realist movement in 20th century Latin American literature.