Borges: Everness (From Spanish)

By Jorge Luis Borges
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

One thing does not exist: Oblivion.
God saves the metal and the dross, his key
Ciphers in his prophetic memory
The moons to come, and moons of evenings gone.

All there: reflections in the looking-glass
Which, between the huge twilights of the day,
Your face has long been leaving where you pass,
And those it will keep leaving on your way.

And everything is part of that diverse
Crystal of memory, the universe;
Unending are the mazes it engenders

Of doors that shut behind as you walk through;
Only from sunset’s farther side shall you
Behold at last the Archetypes and Splendors.

The Original:

Jorge Luis Borges

Sólo una cosa no hay. Es el olvido.
Dios, que salva el metal, salva la escoria
Y cifra en Su profética memoria
Las lunas que serán y las que han sido.

Ya todo está. Los miles de reflejos
Que entre los dos crepúsculos del día
Tu rostro fue dejando en los espejos
Y los que irá dejando todavía.

Y todo es una parte del diverso
Cristal de esa memoria, el universo;
No tienen fin sus arduos corredores

Y las puertas se cierran a tu paso;
Sólo del otro lado del ocaso
Verás los Arquetipos y Esplendores.


  1. Thanks for this one, too. I love Borges, mostly the fiction and essays, but he's written some quite intriguing poems as well.

  2. This is such a well-translated poem. I have read another translation by Alastair Raid but your's has a flowing, musical touch which lends it an almost divine poetic grace, I especially liked the way you translated "God saves the metal and the dross, his key 
    Ciphers in his prophetic memory"