It is necessary to fall in love – the better to provide an alibi for all the despair we are going to feel anyway. — Albert Camus
(You will proclaim through your work that you hold the universe at a distance.) — Jean-Paul Sartre, “The Poetry of Suicide,” Between Existentialism and Marxism. (Verso, January 17, 2008) Originally published 1960.
My hands Open the curtains of your being Clothe you in a further nudity Uncover the bodies of your body My hands Invent another body for your body — Octavio Paz, “Touch.” Translation by Eliot Weinberger
Days that haunt the poem’s single day are like the air revisiting this house of vocables that you and I designed: its windows watch an ocean and a sky to learn what portion of the other’s mind the jet-trails presage: letters are stones that fly to settle in a wall of which the line traces… Continue reading Octavio Paz
your mouth tastes / like poisoned time — Octavio Paz, from “Sunstone,” Octavio Paz, The Collected Poems, 1957-1987. Edited and translated by Eliot Weinberger. (New Directions, April 17, 1991) Originally published 1987.
At times poetry is the vertigo of bodies and the vertigo of speech and the vertigo of death; the walk with eyes closed along the edge of the cliff, and the verbena in submarine gardens; the laughter that sets fire to rules and the holy commandments; the descent of parachuting words onto the sands of… Continue reading Octavio Paz
to remember that a waterfall is a girl coming down the stairs dying of laughter, to see the sun and its planets swinging on the trapeze of the horizon, to learn to see so that things will see us and come and go through our seeing, living alphabets that send out roots, shoot up, bud,… Continue reading Octavio Paz
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. —Albert Camus
the wave of your laughter surged over the chatting and the rattle of the cups and spoons, it was the sound of spotted goats clambering in a rush over a land of burnt hills, the couple at the next table stopped talking and froze with blank stares, as if reality had become naked and nothing… Continue reading Octavio Paz
There are moments that explode and become stars — Octavio Paz, from “Seeds for a psalm,” Early Poems 1935-1955 (New Directions, 1973)