Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fastest Borges Ever

So this translation of Jorge Luis Borges's "Shinto" clocked in at six minutes, from 8:56 pm to 9:03 pm on January 4, 2007.


When unhappiness hits us,
in a second we are saved
by the infamous adventures
of attention or memory:
the flavor of fruit,
the flavor of water,
that face that the dream returns to us,
the first jasmine of November,
the infinite yearning of the compass,
a book we believed lost,
the pulse of the hexameter,
the tiny key that opens a house,
the odor of a library or sandlewood,
the ancient name of a street,
the color of a map,
unexpected etymology,
the tip of a fingernail on a filing board,
the date we were looking for,
count the twelve dark bells,
abrupt physical pain.

Eight million are the divinities of Shinto
that travel to earth, secretly.
These modest entities touch us
and then leave us.

--Translated by Andres Clerici, Phyllis Wat, Nina Karacosta, Tony Hoffman, Stephanie Gray, and Marcella Durand.

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