For this translation of Borges, I decided to start with the fact that the original poem (Un Ciego) is a classical Shakespearian sonnet. The decision to respect the form of the original poem when translating leads to a new poem that, while preserving the essential themes and sense of the original, adds and subtracts details for the sake of the form. I call this kind of translating "interpreting" to emphasize that a poem arises from the process that is both the original poem and a new poem in and of itself.
The Blind Man
Jorge Luis Borges
(interpreted by Guy Conner)
I try imagining my face
Reflected in that mirror there.
Would I see an old man with a trace
Of weary rage, or perhaps despair?
Slowly does my hand explore
My features - not so old in fact.
The vision comes to me once more
Of you as I knew you in our youth.
I agree with Milton when he says
That blindness is a state of mind.
Vision deals with surfaces,
I see images of a deeper kind.
But still, if I could see my face,
I'd know myself and knowing, know my place.
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"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner