Brief History of Borges’ poetry on a stamp


On August 15th, 1987, the so-called “Empresa Nacional de Correos y Telégrafos - Encotel” (Former Argentine Post Service) issued a stamp dedicated to Jorge Luis Borges. This event was a true milestone in the history of Argentine Literature, and world Literature as well, as the stamp included a brief passage of the work of the well-known writer.


“Yo que me figuraba el Paraíso

bajo la especie de una Biblioteca”


            “I, that used to figure Paradise

            In the guise of a library”


This lines are taken from the “Poem of the Gifts”, and they appear in the twenty cents of Austral (Former Argentine currency) stamp, next to the portrait of the poet and essayist, with a light-blue background.

This stamp was issued as the result of a large series of efforts made by the Argentine journalist Jorge Eduardo Padula Perkins for more than ten years. The project, backed by several public and private institutions, aimed to include passages of poems on stamps issued to honour Argentine writers.

 This project had the support of  Círculo de la Prensa de Quilmes” (a press association in the city of Quilmes), “Federación de Entidades de Bien Público General San Martín

(a public entity), “Concejo Deliberante de Quilmes” (City Council of Quilmes), “Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación” (Argentine Secretary of Culture), “Asociación de Cronistas Filatélicos de la Argentina”(a philatelic journalists association), “Academia Nacional de la Historia”(National Academy of Histoy) and “Sociedad Argentina de Escritores” (Argentine Writers Association).

The President of the “Sociedad Argentina de Escritores” at that time, Carlos Alberto Débole, stated to Encotel that “ the aim is not only to remember the authors, but also to include the full assessment of their work at the time that it constitutes a way of cultural spreading”.

On its behalf, the “Asociación de Coleccionistas Temáticos de Ajedrez”, having no information about the procedures leading up to the issue of the stamps, made an special envelope including the Part I of Borges’ poem “Ajedrez” (Chess).


En 1990, the traditional “Feria del Libro de Buenos Aires” (a book fair in Buenos Aires), on its 16th edition, housed a singular stand in Pavilion B: “Filatelía y Letras”.

There, thanks to the “Fundación El Libro” (a NGO) and to a particular studio under the direction of the graphic designer Ángel Daniel Sánchez, a small collection of journalistic and documentary material about this stamp was shown. This meant a landmark in the history of philately and arts.

With an effect almost heraldic, the stand offered an enlarged copy of the stamp. At its side, there appeared same documents, such as the envelope issued by the thematic collectors of chess, and an original stamp on a black background with direct illumination.


·         El Tiempo, Azul City, March 29th, 1988.

·         El Diario, Paraná City, April 11th, 1990.

·         Perspectiva Sur, Quilmes City, 2nd Edition, May 1990.

·         Web pages featuring information about the stamp: Borges Art by Borges Center:• Efemérides Culturales Argentinas:


This article was taken from:


Translated by Paula Camargo