Borges & Daffodils

“After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.”

Jorge Luis Borges – You Learn, c.1940.

Oskar Zwintscher – Portrait with Yellow Daffodils,1907

I thought it was time we heard a few words from a Master. I don’t think Borges is appreciated enough amongst us commoners of the Litterati. (We who know and appreciate but haven’t quite reached.) While there is much to say of him and read, today we will let it suffice with the “You Learn” above. It’s the wakeup call, the slap across the face, the grow up! Besides, I wanted to post the “Portrait with Yellow Daffodils” which I love.

One thought on “Borges & Daffodils

  1. Thanks for this Borges text. We read ‘The Library of Bable’ first and that motivated us to read more of his work. We suppose, you know that the blind librarian in Eco’s ‘The Name of the Rose’ is a reminder of Borges who was a blind librarian as well.
    All the best
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


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