On this day…. Jorge Luis Borges


By Beti Alonso

The Aleph

by Jorge Luis Borges

O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a King of infinite space…

Hamlet, II, 2

But they will teach us that Eternity is the Standing still of the Present Time, a Nunc-stans (as the schools call

it); which neither they, nor any else understand, no more than they would a Hic-stans for an Infinite greatness

of Place.

Leviathan, IV, 46

On the burning February morning Beatriz Viterbo died, after braving an agony that never for a single moment gave way to self-pity or fear, I noticed that the sidewalk billboards around Constitution Plaza were advertising some new brand or other of American cigarettes. The fact pained me, for I realised that the wide and ceaseless universe was already slipping away from her and that this slight change was the first of an endless series. The universe may change but not me, I thought with a certain sad vanity. I knew that at times my fruitless devotion had annoyed her; now that she was dead, I could devote myself to her memory, without hope but also without humiliation. I recalled that the thirtieth of April was her birthday; on that day to visit her house on Garay Street and pay my respects to her father and to Carlos Argentino Daneri, her first cousin, would be an irreproachable and perhaps unavoidable act of politeness. Once again I would wait in the twilight of the small, cluttered drawing room, once again I would study the details of her many photographs: Beatriz Viterbo in profile and in full colour; Beatriz wearing a mask, during the Carnival of 1921; Beatriz at her First Communion; Beatriz on the day of her wedding to Roberto Alessandri; Beatriz soon after her divorce, at a luncheon at the Turf Club; Beatriz at a seaside resort in Quilmes with Delia San Marco Porcel and Carlos Argentino; Beatriz with the Pekingese lapdog given her by Villegas Haedo; Beatriz, front and three-quarter views, smiling, hand on her chin… I would not be forced, as in the past, to justify my presence with modest offerings of books — books whose pages I finally learned to cut beforehand, so as not to find out, months later, that they lay around unopened.

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Της ημέρας….


Γιώργος Ιακωβίδης, Άνοιξη 1927

Νέα μοίρα

Γυμνή γυναίκα

το ρόδι που έσπασε

ήταν γεμάτο αστέρια.

Γιώργος Σεφέρης χαϊκού. Γεννήθηκε σαν σήμερα το 1900



The whole sky was a sheet of flame! It was as if Turner himself had come back to welcome him, to give him a last sunset before the end.

It was like watching a stained-glass window being slowly shattered.

— Lawrence Durrell, The Avignon Quintet

J.M.W. Turner, The Scarlet Sunset

Lucian Freud! Born on this day in 1922.


Girl with a White Dog 1950-1
This picture shows the artist’s first wife when she was pregnant. The style of the painting has roots in the smooth and linear portraiture of the great nineteenth-century French neoclassical painter, Ingres. This, together with the particular psychological atmosphere of Freud’s early work, led the critic Herbert Read to make his celebrated remark that Freud was ‘the Ingres of Existentialism’.

The sense that Freud gives of human existence as essentially lonely, and spiritually if not physically painful, is something shared by his great contemporaries, Francis Bacon and the sculptor Alberto Giacometti. (Via Tate)

Μέθα, Μεθύστε



Édouard Manet, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863)


Ἂν κάποτε στὰ σκαλιὰ ἑνὸς παλατιοῦ, στὸ πράσινο γρασίδι
μιᾶς τάφρου, στὴ μουντὴ μοναξιὰ τοῦ δωματίου σου,
ξυπνήσεις ξεμέθυστος πιά, ῥώτα τὸν ἄνεμο, ῥώτα τὸ κύμα,
τὸ πουλί, τὸ ῥολόι, κάθε τι ποὺ φεύγει,
κάθε τι ποὺ στενάζει, κάθε τι ποὺ κυλάει, ποὺ τραγουδάει,
ποὺ μιλάει· ῥώτα τί ὥρα εἶναι;
Κι ὁ ἄνεμος, τὸ κύμα, τὸ ἄστρο, τὸ πουλί, τὸ ῥολόι,
θὰ σοῦ ἀπαντήσουν: Εἶναι ἡ ὥρα τῆς μέθης!
Γιὰ νὰ γίνεις ὁ μαρτυρικὸς σκλάβος τοῦ χρόνου,
μέθα· μέθα ἀδιάκοπα!
Ἀλλὰ μὲ τί; Μὲ ῥακή, μὲ κρασί, μὲ ποίηση, μὲ ἀρετή…
-Μὲ ὅ,τι θέλεις, ἀλλὰ μέθα!…


Πρέπει νά ῾σαι πάντα μεθυσμένος.
Ἐκεῖ εἶναι ὅλη ἡ ἱστορία: εἶναι τὸ μοναδικὸ πρόβλημα.
Γιὰ νὰ μὴ νιώθετε τὸ φριχτὸ φορτίο τοῦ Χρόνου
ποὺ σπάζει τοὺς ὤμους σας καὶ σᾶς γέρνει στὴ γῆ,
πρέπει νὰ μεθᾶτε ἀδιάκοπα. Ἀλλὰ μὲ τί;
Μὲ κρασί, μὲ ποίηση ἢ μὲ ἀρετή, ὅπως σᾶς ἀρέσει.
Ἀλλὰ μεθύστε.

Καὶ ἂν μερικὲς φορές, στὰ σκαλιὰ ἑνὸς παλατιοῦ,
στὸ πράσινο χορτάρι ἑνὸς χαντακιοῦ,
μέσα στὴ σκυθρωπὴ μοναξιὰ τῆς κάμαράς σας,
ξυπνᾶτε, μὲ τὸ μεθύσι κιόλα ἐλαττωμένο ἢ χαμένο,
ρωτῆστε τὸν ἀέρα, τὸ κύμα, τὸ ἄστρο, τὸ πουλί, τὸ ρολόι,
τὸ κάθε τι ποὺ φεύγει, τὸ κάθε τι ποὺ βογκᾶ,
τὸ κάθε τι ποὺ κυλᾶ, τὸ κάθε τι ποὺ τραγουδᾶ,
ρωτῆστε τί ὥρα εἶναι,
καὶ ὁ ἀέρας, τὸ κύμα, τὸ ἄστρο, τὸ πουλί, τὸ ρολόι,
θὰ σᾶς ἀπαντήσουν:

-Εἶναι ἡ ὥρα νὰ μεθύσετε!

Γιὰ νὰ μὴν εἴσαστε οἱ βασανισμένοι σκλάβοι τοῦ Χρόνου,
μεθύστε, μεθύστε χωρὶς διακοπή!

Μὲ κρασί, μὲ ποίηση ἢ μὲ ἀρετή, ὅπως σᾶς ἀρέσει.

Σὰρλ Μπωντλαίρ

Διαβάστε περισσότερα ποιήματα:

Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil:

«Καλός και Κακός Καιρός»


weatherweather_kalmanhandler6Illustration by Maira Kalman, based on Barney Ingoglia’s photograph for the NewYork Times



Καλός και Κακός Καιρός

Δεν με πειράζει αν απλώνη
έξω ο χειμώνας καταχνιά, σύννεφα, και κρυάδα.
Μέσα μου κάμνει άνοιξι, χαρά αληθινή.
Το γέλοιο είναι ακτίνα, μαλαματένια όλη,
σαν την αγάπη άλλο δεν είναι περιβόλι,
του τραγουδιού η ζέστη όλα τα χιόνια λυώνει.

Τι ωφελεί οπού φυτρώνει
λουλούδια έξω η άνοιξις και σπέρνει πρασινάδα!
Έχω χειμώνα μέσα μου σαν η καρδιά πονεί.
Ο στεναγμός τον ήλιο τον πιο λαμπρό σκεπάζει,
σαν έχεις λύπη ο Μάης με τον Δεκέμβρη μοιάζει,
πιο κρύα είναι τα δάκρυα από το κρύο χιόνι.(Από τα Αποκηρυγμένα, Ίκαρος 1983)