You Learn

I came across this poem on tumblr. I’d never heard it and it’s obviously not written by me.

As soon as I read it, I was amazed. It’s one of those simple poems. One that you don’t have to read over and over and try to read the vague references and figure out the symbolism. Maybe that’s just the translation since the original was written in Spanish originally by Jorge Luis Borges.

Either way, it’s beautiful. Enjoy.


by Jorge Luis Borges

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth…

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye you learn.

Translated by Veronica A. Shoffstall

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2 thoughts on “You Learn

  1. This poem is BREATHTAKING… I MUST write! Thank you, Love!

  2. You’re welcome, Jamesha. Thanks for all your inspiration! You’re an amazing writer yourself!

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