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Browning Decides To Be A Poet Analysis

Author: poem of Jorge Luis Borges Type: poem Views: 12

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In these red labyrinths of London

I find that I have chosen

the strangest of all callings,

save that, in its way, any calling is strange.

Like the alchemist

who sought the philosopher's stone

in quicksilver,

I shall make everyday words--

the gambler's marked cards, the common coin--

give off the magic that was their

when Thor was both the god and the din,

the thunderclap and the prayer.

In today's dialect

I shall say, in my fashion, eternal things:

I shall try to be worthy

of the great echo of Byron.

This dust that I am will be invulnerable.

If a woman shares my love

my verse will touch the tenth sphere of the concentric heavens;

if a woman turns my love aside

I will make of my sadness a music,

a full river to resound through time.

I shall live by forgetting myself.

I shall be the face I glimpse and forget,

I shall be Judas who takes on

the divine mission of being a betrayer,

I shall be Caliban in his bog,

I shall be a mercenary who dies

without fear and without faith,

I shall be Polycrates, who looks in awe

upon the seal returned by fate.

I will be the friend who hates me.

The persian will give me the nightingale, and Rome the sword.

Masks, agonies, resurrections

will weave and unweave my life,

and in time I shall be Robert Browning.


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