Poetry Dispatch No. 277 | April 14, 2009
by Jorge Luis Borges
A man who cultivates his garden, as Voltaire wished.
He who is grateful for the existence of music.
He who takes pleasure in tracing an etymology.
Two workmen playing, in a café in the South,
aaaa silent game of chess.
The potter, contemplating a color and a form.
The typographer who sets this page well,
aaathough it may not please him.
A woman and a man, who read the last tercets
aaaof a certain canto.
He who strokes a sleeping animal.
He who justifies, or wishes to, a wrong done him.
He who is grateful for the existence of a Stevenson.
He who prefers others to be right.
These people, unaware, are saving the world.
Translated by Alastair Reid from: “Insomnia”, Six Poems by Jorge Luis Borges, Harper’s Magazine, February, 1999