Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Octavio Paz
Octavio Paz
The author of many collections of poetry, Octavio Paz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Related Prose
A Poem by Any Other Name: Poems Titled "Poem"
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Proem

 
by Octavio Paz
translated by Eliot Weinberger

   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 on fire the rules and the holy commandments;
   the descent of parachuting words onto the sands of the page;
   the despair that boards a paper boat and crosses,
   for forty nights and forty days, the night-sorrow sea and the day-sorrow desert;
   the idolatry of the self and the desecration of the self and the dissipation of the self;
   the beheading of epithets, the burial of mirrors;    the recollection of pronouns freshly cut in the garden of Epicurus, and the garden of Netzahualcoyotl;
   the flute solo on the terrace of memory and the dance of flames in the cave of thought;
   the migrations of millions of verbs, wings and claws, seeds and hands;
   the nouns, bony and full of roots, planted on the waves of language;
   the love unseen and the love unheard and the love unsaid: the love in love.

Syllables seeds.







From The Collected Poems 1957-1987. Copyright © 1986 byOctavio Paz and Eliot Weinberger. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.