Independence day of Argentina

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  • Dear Members of this forum:

    tomorrow will be our Independence day.

    I have translated a beautiful, sober and non sentimental poem written from Jorge Luis Borges (by the way with some British blood). I hope you will appreciate it.



    ODE WRITTEN IN 1966



    No one is the Fatherland.

    Not even the rider,

    which tall in the dawn of a desert plaza,

    Rules a bronze steed through the times,

    Nor the others ones who glance from the marble,

    Nor those which lavished their warrior ashes,

    Through the fields of America

    Or they left a verse or a feat

    Or the memory of a thorough life

    In the righteous exercise of the days.

    No one is the Fatherland. Not even the symbols.


    No one is the Fatherland. Not even time

    Laden with battles, of swords and exodus

    And of the slow population of regions

    That touches the morn and the twilight

    And of faces which are aging

    In the mirrors that are blurred

    And of sustained anonymous agonies

    That last until dawn

    And from the web of rain

    Upon the dark gardens


    The Fatherland, my friends, is a perpetual deed

    As the perpetual world (If the Eternal Spectator

    would stop dreaming,

    as a white and abrupt lightning

    His forgetfulness

    Would fulminate us)


    No one is the Fatherland,

    But we all must be

    Worthy of the old oath

    That lent out those gentlemen

    To be what they ignored, argentineans,

    To be what they will be for the fact

    To have pledged in that old house


    We are the future of those men,

    The substantiation of those who died

    Our duty is the glorious burden

    That to our shadow bequeath those shadows

    That we must save.

    No one is the Fatherland,

    But we all are the Fatherland.

    May flame, ceaseless, in my chest and in yours

    That limpid, mysterious fire.




    Jorge Luis Borges (born Buenos Aires 1898, died in Geneva 1987)

    Written in occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Argentine declaration of Independence