Posts Tagged ‘Montglane Service’

The Game of Chess

April 8, 2011
the game of chess

the game of chess

In their grave corner, the players
Deploy the plodding pieces. The board
Detains them until dawn within its
Structured bounds where two colors clash.

From within, the forms radiate their magic rules.
Homeric castle, nimble knight,
Armored queen, backward king,
A bishop on the bias, and aggressive pawns.

When the players have departed,
When time has consumed them,
Certainly the ritual will not have ceased.

In the Orient this was burst into flame
Whose amphitheatre is now all the Earth.
Like another ganme, this game is infinite.

Weak king, slanted bishop, carnivorous
Queen, straightforward rook and cunning pawn.
Over the black and white they seek their path
And unleash their armed battle.

They do not know that the distingished hand
Of the player governs their destiny,
They do not know that an unyielding force
Controls their autonomy and their days.

The player too is a prisoner
(The phrase is Omar’s) of another board
Of black nights and of white days.

God moves the player, and he, the piece.
What god from behind God begins to weave the plot
Of dust and time and dreams and agonies?

— Jorge Luis Borges

Chess from Dreamtigers by Jorge Luis Borges. Translation by Katherine Neville and published in The Eight, a tale of the Montglane Service, a chess set that once belonged to Charlemagne.

Top story in The starleigh_grass Daily (Friday 8 April 2011).

Top story in The One Stop Poetry Daily (Friday 8 April 2011).

The chess game

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