'Boast of Quietness' - Jorge Luis Borges

Kiran Desai begins her Booker winning novel, ‘Inheritance of Loss’ by quoting the following poem by Jorge Luis Borges. He is an Argentine writer and poet. He became blind at the age of fifty due to a hereditary condition. He began his writing career with publication of poems and journal essays. His first collection of poetry was published in 1923. Know more about his life: Jorge Luis Borges

Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigous than meteors.
The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.
Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious
and would like to understand them.
Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.
Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.
They speak of humanity.
My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.
They speak of homeland.
My homeland is the rythym of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword,
the willow grove's visible prayer as evening falls.
Time is living me.
More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.
They are indispensible, singular, worthy of tomorrow.
My name is someone and anyone.
I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away
he doesn't expect to arrive.


Apart from relating the poem to the theme of the novel, we need to give it a thought otherwise too. The poem is a beauty in itself. We need not necessarily analyse a literary work on the basis of the literary devices used like similes, metaphors, oxymorons etc. Sometimes the beauty must be realized in terms of the meaning of the lines. The universal appeal of a poem lies in the fact that while reading it every person feels as if the poem expresses his own personal feelings. I felt the same while reading the above poem and which is why I liked it. I have never read this poet earlier (none of his translations), neither did I know about his life and writing career. The lines that I liked the most are: "Time is living me./ More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude."

Life is an endless journey and we come across so many things and literary works which we remember for all times to come. And remember its not the whole thing that we recollect, it is always a special line or an incident. Down the line after a few years, who knows you might find yourself recalling the lines:

My name is someone and anyone.
I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away
he doesn't expect to arrive.

My Blog's Second Anniversary

It was on this day, that is, May 15 in 2007 that I published my first post on my blog 'Literary Jewels'. My maiden post was: 'English Poetry:My Inspiration'. My blog is 2-years old today. I have tried to post as frequently as possible so that I can provide my readers with new material now and then. But there have been phases when I have been unable to write for my blog. When I try to analyze the causes  behind that absence, I zero in on one of the most prominent reason, which is my studies and to be more specific the most dreaded examinations! Now again they are coming to invade me and my 'spontaneous overflow' from June 3. The flood waters will only return on June 24. But as they say, "This too will pass!". So I preparing to give my best shot. And once they are over, I seriously intend to come back to my blog more often. 
I thank all my readers for being supportive and being constant in their admiration for 'Literary Jewels'. 
I dedicate this poster to my blog on its 2nd anniversary and to my loyal readers. These lines of William Wordsworth from his Ode: 'Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood' are one of most favourites from the world of English literature:

The Unexpressed!

There’s always a little truth behind every “just kidding”;

A little knowledge behind every “I don’t know”; and

A little emotion behind every “I don’t care”.

We often say things we don’t mean. In other words, we say something and mean just the opposite. There are various psychological reasons behind it. We are actually hesitating to share our innermost feelings. We are afraid of ourselves, so to say. We don’t dare to be honest even with ourselves.

People feel one thing but express something else; they intend something but say something else. What is important is that we must master the art of simply saying nothing in such a way that nothing is left unsaid. Let the silence do the talking for ourselves, when our words fail to do so. But then be careful that your silence is not misunderstood, as is often the case.

The Unexpected Always Happens!!!

It was a nice and a very thoughtful message that I got: “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands that I still possess.”

The message has much deeper connotations than its surface meaning. We all are selfish, that is precisely why we want to restrict the thing to ourselves only by holding it tight. But this is a fact that the more we try to hold the thing, the more it runs away from us.

Moreover, we cannot control our destiny totally. Often in tricky situations, when we are not able to act or we are not in a position of finding out a solution to the problem, so we have to leave it for God to act and give the task a new direction.  The English proverb: ‘Do your best and leave the rest’ also suggests something similar. We are to leave the rest to God. The things actually don’t proceed always the way we want them to. The unexpected always happens. 

So we have to work hard and then leave it to God to do justice for us. We cannot be God ourselves. And then we will have longer lasting possessions...