Blanca Rosa de un Jardín Borrado

Photograph — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

The above photograph may not agree in any way with the line in Borges’ poem (in English and in Spanish below) A Rose and Milton

O you vermillion, white

Or yellow rose from a garden long erased,

But then I am the editor, art director, photographer and publisher of this blog so that’s that. On the other hand the portrait of Kimberley Klaas who is now dead, makes the poem perhaps appropriate as she was a white rose of a now erased garden.

Una Rosa y Milton — Jorge Luís Borges

De las generaciones de las rosas

que en el fondo del tiempo se han perdido

quiero que una se salve del olvido,

una sin marca o signo entre las cosas

que fueron. El destino me depara

este don de nombrar por vez primera

esa flor silenciosa, la postrera

rosa que Milton acercó a su cara,

sin verla. Oh tú bermeja o amarilla

o blanca rosa de un jardín borrado,

deja mágicamente tu pasado

inmemorial y en este verso brilla,

oro, sangre o marfil o tenebrosa

como en sus manos, invisible rosa.

A Rose and Milton

By Jorge Luis Borges

Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Amid the generations of the rose

That in the deep of ages lie long gone

I want one to be spared oblivion,

Unmarked and undistinguished among those

Bygone. I am bequeathed by destiny

The privilege of bestowing the first name

Upon that silent rose, the last and same

Flower that Milton held and could not see

Before his face. O you vermillion, white

Or yellow rose from a garden long erased,

Your immemorial past, by magic placed

In the one present, is this verse’s light:

Gold, ivory, or blood, the shades enclose

You, as his fingers once, invisible rose.

Link to: Blanca Rosa de un Jardín Borrado


Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.