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ART, Borges Jorge Luis, English, Español, Language, Literature

To The Nightingale : Jorge Luis Borges / Edmund Dulac

The Nightingale (1911) in “Stories from Hans Andersen by Hans Christian Andersen with illustrations by Edmund Dulac

The Nightingale (1911) in “Stories from Hans Andersen by Hans Christian Andersen with illustrations by Edmund Dulac

On what secret night in England

Or by the incalculable constant Rhine,

Lost among all the nights of my nights,

Carried to my unknowing ear

Your voice, burdened with mythology,

Nightingale of Virgil, of the Persians?

Perhaps I never heard you, yet my life

I bound to your life, inseparably.

A wandering spirit is your symbol

In a book of enigmas. El Marino

Named you the siren of the woods

And you sing through Juliet’s night

And in the intricate Latin pages

And from the pine-trees of that other,

Nightingale of Germany and Judea,

Heine, mocking, burning, mourning.

Keats heard you for all, everywhere.

There’s not one of the bright names

The people of the earth have given you

That does not yearn to match your music,

Nightingale of shadows. The Muslim

Dreamed you drunk with ecstasy

His breast trans-pierced by the thorn

Of the sung rose that you redden

With your last blood. Assiduously

I plot these lines in twilight emptiness,

Nightingale of the shores and seas,

Who in exaltation, memory and fable

Burn with love and die melodiously.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

The nightingale is a common Old World bird with an uncommon sound: rich, loud, mellow, melodious. … Poets, who are often nocturnal creatures, have especially identified with “spring’s messenger, the sweet-voiced nightingale,” as Sappho calls it…. The nightingale sings during the day as well as the night, but poets have especially praised its night music, it mournful tones and its joyous sound.
Edward HIRSCH : To the nightingale poems from Sappho to Borges

Al ruiseñor

¿En qué noche secreta de Inglaterra
O del constante Rhin incalculable,
Perdida entre las noches de mis noches,
A mi ignorante oído habrá llegado
Tu voz cargada de mitologías,
Ruiseñor de Virgilio y de los persas?
Quizá nunca te oí, pero a mi vida
Se une tu vida, inseparablemente.
Un espíritu errante fue tu símbolo
En un libro de enigmas. El Marino
Te apodaba sirena de los bosques
Y cantas en la noche de Julieta
Y en la intrincada página latina
Y desde los pinares de aquel otro
Ruiseñor de Judea y Alemania,
Heine del burlón, el encendido, el triste.
Keats te oyó para todos, para siempre.
No habrá uno solo entre los claros nombres
Que los pueblos te dan sobre la tierra
Que no quiera ser digno de tu música,
Ruiseñor de la sombra. El agareno
Te soñó arrebatado por el éxtasis
El pecho traspasado por la espina
De la cantada rosa que enrojeces
Con tu sangre final. Asiduamente
Urdo en la hueca tarde este ejercicio,
Ruiseñor de la arena y de los mares,
Que en la memoria, exaltación y fábula,
Ardes de amor y mueres melodioso.

(born in Toulouse Edmond Dulac; October 22, 1882 – May 25, 1953) was a French-born, British naturalised magazine illustrator, book illustrator and stamp designer. Born in Toulouse he studied law but later turned to the study of art the École des Beaux-Arts. He moved to London early in the 20th century and in 1905 received his first commission to illustrate the novels of the Brontë Sisters. During World War I, Dulac produced relief books and when after the war the deluxe children’s book market shrank he turned to magazine illustrations among other ventures. He designed banknotes during World War II and postage stamps, most notably those that heralded the beginning ofQueen Elizabeth II’s reign.


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