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History Of The Night

Rating: 3.9

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COMMENTS
Edwin Cordevilla 21 July 2010
To be able to truly appreciate this poem, it is my opinion that one needs not only to train the eye, but also the soul. Borges achieves both the beauty of simplicity and complexity in this poem. Simplicity, because he used simple, easy-to-understand words. Complexity, because although the presentation may be simple, the poem displays a universe of varying meanings, where every re-reading may yield new meanings, new perspective. To enjoy this poem, the reader needs to approach it with absolute honesty and truthfulness, otherwise, the reader may be missing a real, rare gem.
4 1 Reply
Joshua Livengood 21 July 2010
i only liked the begining of it.
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Kevin Straw 21 July 2010
So there was night, and then a word for it. Borges does not get anywhere near a poetic expression of the transition between the wordless experience of night and the creation of a word for it. The constant references to knowledge which the reader may or may not have are both irritating and irrelevant. I repeat, a poem should contain all the information needed for an understanding of it. Whoever mentioned Shakespeare's neologisms as a response to my last comment is well off the track I beat thereby.
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Joseph Poewhit 21 July 2010
Words capture man's nature. Day and night created by, GOD, very simple. Then man through invention, adds to the simple beauty of GODS creation. Making his life more complex and trying by invention.
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Ramesh T A 21 July 2010
The night we know has beginning and end! But the night in the Universe is endless! The myths and the messages of night we all know from the poems of poets since long start from the first literary out put in the world. In this poem the poet touches of a few important aspects well!
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UnKnown Messenger 21 July 2010
In fact unlike Pieter I appreciate Michael Pruchnicki's response because most of these late poets' poems sound to the average Joe like a load of gibberish. (me in particular) Perhaps something like 'expressive' is not worthy of a great poet if you can truly fathom his/her greatness. As far as poems are concerned I do believe seeing them from the poet's perspective makes it all the more better than what you make of it. Not everyone can know everything and simplest of poems do require some understanding of the use of words and phrases outside of it. In that sense as Straw says nothing is pure poetry.
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enjoyed this poem and the poet's style..about the content..i liked the first part..nice to see this discussion and the differencies of opinions...you made our poet feel little alive again..thank you
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Major Tom 21 July 2009
Dear mr. Straw, I have to dissagree with you. First of all, gongorism is a literary style, you may or you may not like it. And Shakespeare? It shows total lack of knowledge to say something like that. He is the writer who introduced many, but really many neologisms in the English language; do you think it was easy for an 16th century man to read his sonets? Defining poetry is very hard, almost impossible, and there cannot be a contradiction in poetry, for it is poetry; I don't believe you should be making such conclusions without thinking them through all the way. I had no intention of insulting you while writing this, my goal was to defend an artist who has been underservedly criticised. A great artist.
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Kevin Straw 21 July 2009
Poetry which demands that we reach for our encyclopedias and reference books is not the purest poetry. Even if you know what is being talked about, even if you are in on the game, it is secondary poetry - indeed, I think it is not poetry - just someone pointing to outside the poem to knowledge the reader may or may not have. It is bad manners to assume knowledge in your reader. The meaning of poetry should be entirely contained within the poem. It may be that some things need explaining (archaic words etc) but given that, a poem should be entirely self-explanatory. You can read the whole of Shakespeare's Sonnets and need only a dozen or so words explained to understand them. Poetry which is a list of cultural references, which expects the reader to find the meaning of the poem elsewhere, is a contradiction in terms.
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Michael Pruchnicki 21 July 2008
Some of the comments posted here border on the absurd that fascinated Jorge Luis Borges as both poet and novelist! Except, of course, that Borges's poem makes sense, while the comments do not. Borges specialized in blending myth, fantasy, symbolism and erudition in his work. Who are the unruffled Fates? How do they spin our destiny? Who were the Chaldeans and their twelve houses? Define Zeno and his infinite words! What exactly are Latin hexameters? Who was Pascal and what was his terror? Why the allusion to those fragile instruments, the eyes? Do you know of any problems that Borges had with his own eyesight? What does the title HISTORY OF THE NIGHT allude to? Comments posted here should be based on more than 'absolute brilliance, ' 'expressive poem, ' and other such emotional and subjective reactions! Poetry can be difficult and take some study and effort to comprehend fully, that's true, but most great poetry is NOT obscure. I do not know what 'encapsuled visions' of our predecessors has to do with 'poetic hindsight' or whatever! Would it help to know that Chaldea was an ancient civilization on the Euphrates where magic and astrology (twelve signs of the zodiac) flourished? That the Fates were three Roman goddesses that controlled human destiny and life? That Zeno was a logician and sophist who could argue the logic of illogic? Blaise Pascal was a genius and philosopher in 17th century France who converted to Christianity and recorded his ideas about theology in his PENSEES!
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