The endless corridors of memory, the doors that open into an empty room where all the summers have come to rot — Octavio Paz, from “Sunstone,” World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time, ed. Katharine Washburn, John S. Major and Clifton Fadiman (W. W. Norton & Co., 2000) Advertisements
I am where I was: I walk behind the murmur, footsteps within me, heard with my eyes, the murmur is in the mind, I am my footsteps, I hear the voices that I think, the voices that think me as as I think them. I am the shadow my words cast. — Octavio Paz,… 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.
With shadows I draw worlds, I scatter worlds with shadows. I hear the light beat on the other side. — Octavio Paz, from “This Side,” The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz: 1957-1987, trans. Eliot Weinberger (New Directions, 1987)
The poem is a variation on the old theme of Narcissus, although there is no allusion to it in the text. And it is not only the consciousness that contemplates itself in its empty, transparent water ( both mirror and eye at the same time, as in the Valery poem ) : nothingness, which imitates… Continue reading Octavio Paz
A Draft of Shadows desire turns us into ghosts. We are vines of air on trees of wind, a cape of flames invented and devoured by flame. The crack in the tree trunk: sex, seal, serpentine passage closed to the sun and to my eyes, open to the ants. That crack was the portico of… Continue reading Octavio Paz
Memory invents another present. As it invents myself. What has been lived blurs with today. —Octavio Paz, from “Preparatory Exercise,” A Tree Within, trans. Eliot Weinberger (New Directions, 1988)