Selected Poems: Volume 2


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...

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140587210
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 930,585
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Jorge Luis Borges

One of the twentieth century's greatest writers, Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) published numerous collections of poems, essays, and fiction, Director of the National Library of Buenos Aires from 1955 to 1973, Borges was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from both Columbia and Oxford. He received various literary awards over the course of his career, including the International Publisher's Prize (which he shared with Samuel Beckett in 1961), the Jerusalem Prize, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize.


Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899 and was educated in Europe. One of the most widely acclaimed writers of the 20th century, he published many collections of poems, essays, and short stories before his death in Geneva in June 1986.

In 1961, Borges shared the International Publishers' prize with Samuel Beckett. In 1971, Columbia University awarded him the first of many degrees of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, that he was to receive from the English-speaking world -- eventually, the list included both Oxford and Cambridge universities. In 1971 he also received the fifth biennial Jerusalem Prize and in 1973 was given one of Mexico's most prestigious cultural awards, the Alfonso Reyes Prize. In 1980 he shared with Gerardo Diego the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary accolade.

Borges was director of the Argentine National Library from 1955 until 1973.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA)

Good To Know

Borges began writing at the age of six, mostly fantasy stories inspired by Cervantes. When he was nine, he translated Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince into Spanish, and the piece was published in El País, a local newspaper.

To the outrage of his followers, Borges never did receive the Nobel prize. "Not granting me the Nobel Prize has become a Scandinavian tradition," Borges once quipped. "Since I was born they have not been granting it to me."

Several of Borges's short stories have been adapted for the movies, most recently Death and the Compass (1996), directed by Alex Cox (Repo Man).

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    1. Date of Birth:
      August 24, 1899
    2. Place of Birth:
      Buenos Aires, Argentina
    1. Date of Death:
      June 14, 1986
    2. Place of Death:
      Geneva, Switzerland
    1. Education:
      B.A., Collège Calvin de Genève, 1914

Table of Contents

Jorge Luis Borges: 20 Selected Poems From San Martin Copybook
The Mythical Founding of Buenos Aires
The Flow of Memories
Deathwatch on the Southside
Northern Suburb

From The Maker
For Leopoldo Lugones
The Maker
A Yellow Rose
Parable of Cervantes and Don Quixote
Paradiso, XXXI, 108
Parable of the Palace
Everything and Nothing
Borges and I
Poem of the Gifts
The Hourglass
The Moon
The Other Tiger
The Borges
Ariosto and the Arabs
Embarking on the Study of Anglo-Saxon Grammar
Ars Poetica
On Scientific Rigor
The Poet Proclaims His Renown
The Generous Friend
Le Regret D' Héraclite


From The Self and the Other
The Cyclical Night
Of Heaven and Hell
Conjectural Poem
Poem of the Fourth Element
To a Minor Poet of the Greek Anthology
A Page to Commemorate Colonel Syárez, Victor at Junín
Matthew XXV: 30
The Dagger
A Poet of the Thirteenth Century
A Soldier of Urbina
Baltasar Gracián
A Saxon (A.D. 449)
The Golem
A Rose and Milton
John I: 14
Waking Up
To One No Longer Young
Alexander Selkirk
Odyssey, Book Twenty-three
To a Minor Poet of 1899
Poem Written in a Copy Of Beowulf
To a Sword at York Minster
Emanuel Swedenborg
Jonathan Edwards
Camden, 1892
Paris, 1856
The Enigmas
The Instant
The Stranger
To Whoever Is Reading Me
The Alchemist
Oedipus and the Enigma
Adam Cast Fourth
To a Coin
Ode Written in 1966
The Sea
A Morning of 1649
To a Saxon Poet
To the Son

From For Six Strings
Where Can They Have Gone?
Milonga of Manuel Flores
A Blade in the Northside
Milonga of Don Nicanor Paredes
Milonga of Albornoz

From In Praise of Darkness
New England, 1967
James Joyce
The Labyrinth
June, 1968
The Guardian of the Books
Invocation to Joyce
Two Versions of "Knight, Death, and the Devil"
Fragments from an Apocryphal Gospel
His End and His Beginning
In Praise of Darkness

From The Gold of the Tigers
Susana Bombal
The Blind Man
The Search
A Bust of Janus Speaks
Poem of Quantity
The Watcher
To the German Language
The Dream of Pedro Henríquez Ureña
The Palace
Hengist Wants Men (A.D. 449)
To a Cat
The Gold of the Tigers

From The Unending Rose
The Dream
Browning Resolves to Be a Poet
The Suicide
To the Nightingale
I Am
A Blind Man
The Exile (1977)
The Unending Rose

From The Iron Coin
To Manuel Mujica Lainez
Herman Melville
The Moon
To Johannes Brahms
To My Father
Baruch Spinoza
To a Version of I Ching
You Are Not the Others
The Iron Coin

From The History of the Night
Alexandria A.D. 641
Music Box
I Am Not Even Dust
Gunnar Thorgilsson (1816-1879)
Things That Might Have Been
The Mirror
A Saturday
The Causes
Adam Is Your Ashes
History of the Night

From The Limit
The Two Cathedrals
On Acquiring an Encyclopedia
That Man
Two Forms of Insomnia
The Cloisters
Note for a Fantastic Story
The Maker
Nostalgia for the Present
Inferno, V, 129
The Just
The Accomplice
The Limit

From Atlas
My Last Tiger

From Los Conjurados
Christ on the Cross
The Afternoon
Elegy for a Park
Clouds (I)
Clouds (II)
The Leaves of the Cypress

The Web

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mirrors, and Tigers, and Knives! Oh My!

    A very nice selection of the poetry of Borges with both Spanish texts and translations by a variety of translators, the book includes the poet's prologues, inscriptions, and epilogues to the various volumes from which the selections came. It's all here, labyrinths, tigers, knives and swords, mirrors, dreams, death, blindness, libraries, books, Saxons, Norse mythology, Homer, Virgil, Dante, Cervantes, Milton, Poe, the Bible, and Buenos Aires, and all transformed by the genius of Borges into sublime poetry. Among the many I liked were "The Just," "Alexandria, A.D. 641," and "The Limit." In "Fragments from an Apocryphal Gospel," I found a line quoted by Alberto Manguel: "41. Nothing is built on stone, everything on sand, but our duty is to build as if sand were stone . . ." This is a book to read before sleep as a catalyst for big dreams.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2004

    An orginal mind

    Borges´poetry reflects the quality of his mind, and is well worth the time. My only complaint with this edition is the fact that from time to time the translation is flawed. For example, one poem titled ¨El enemigo generoso¨(the generous enemy), is titled ¨The generous friend¨in the english translation...although arguments can always be made to defend a translation, one must be very careful in interpreting what they feel is the essence of the poem. Nonetheless, I highly recommend.

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