With the prose fiction as measure, the reader who expects Borgas' poetry to be an even greater game of arranged arcana--labyrinthine, self-sealing, learned--can't be faulted. But in fact the poems are not like that at all. Borges--""in the fruitless night/ he who counts the syllables""--writes a fairly direct, unfancy poem, admittedly funded by a great store of literary and historical knowledge but never running too far afield from one tonic idea each. In Alastair Reid's superior translations (the Spanish originals are responsibly present as well), poems like ""Hengist Wants Men, A.D. 449,"" ""The Dream,"" and ""Talismans"" are well-achieved and sturdy. There's an elegy, a list-poem, a love poem, a haft dozen Japanese tankas--and Borges' blindness occasions the title poem: classically calm, very much in line with the English poetry of centuries past he so admires. All together, the representation is without great highs or lows but the ambition is intimate and unpretentious. Those involved with the Borges canon will gratefully include this one; others, less infatuated, may still find it intriguing.