® Benjamín Juárez

Octavio Paz

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I am the road of blood If you are the first snow I am he who lights the hearth of dawn If you are the tower of night I am the spike burning in your mind If you are the morning tide I am the first bird's cry If you are the basket of oranges I am the knife of the sun If you are the stone altar I am the sacrilegious hand If you are the sleeping land I am the green cane If you are the wind's leap I am the buried fire If you are the water's mouth I am the mouth of moss If you are the forest of the clouds I am the axe that parts it If you are the profaned city I am the rain of consecration If you are the yellow mountain I am the red arms of lichen If you are the rising sun I am the road of blood - "Motion", as translated by Eliot Weinberger, in Collected Poems 1957-1987

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 - "Touch"

in love with its own transparency. The circular afternoon is now a bay where the world in stillness rocks. All is visible and all elusive, all is near and can't be touched. Paper, book, pencil, glass, rest in the shade of their names. Time throbbing in my temples repeats the same unchanging syllable of blood. The light turns the indifferent wall into a ghostly theater of reflections. I find myself in the middle of an eye, watching myself in its blank stare. The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.
- Between Going and Staying

and the night is enormous. But I look up: the stars write. Unknowing I understand: I too am written, and at this very moment someone spells me out. - "Brotherhood: Homage to Claudius Ptolemy"

to kill time: so we die little by little. - "A Tale of Two Gardens"

I too await the coming of my hour, I too exist. No. I quit.

The world stretches out before me, the vast world of the big, the little, and the medium.

I do not belong to the masters. I don't wash my hands of it, but I am not a judge, nor a witness for the prosecution, nor an executioner. I do not torture, interrogate, or suffer interrogation.

"Visión del escribiente" as translated by Eliot Weinberger in Eagle Or Sun? (1976) - And to fill all these white pages that are left for me with the same monotonous question: at what hour do the hours end?

[]{#The_Labyrinth_of_Solitude_.281950.29}[The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950)]{#The_Labyrinth_of_Solitude_(1950) .mw-headline}[[[]{.mw-editsection-bracket}edit[]]{.mw-editsection-bracket}]

To the people of New York, Paris, or London, "death" is a word that is never pronounced because it burns the lips. The Mexican, however, frequents it, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his favorite toys and most steadfast love.

[]{#Sun_Stone_.281957.29}[Sun Stone (1957)]{#Sun_Stone_(1957) .mw-headline}[[[]{.mw-editsection-bracket}edit[]]{.mw-editsection-bracket}]

Quotes from Piedra de Sol [Sun Stone] (1957)

the calm course of a star or the spring, appearing without urgency,
water behind a stillness of closed eyelids
flowing all night and pouring out prophecies,
a single presence in the procession of waves
wave over wave until all is overlapped,
in a green sovereignty without decline
a bright hallucination of many wings
when they all open at the height of the sky,
course of a journey among the densities
of the days of the future and the fateful
brilliance of misery shining like a bird
that petrifies the forest with its singing
and the annunciations of happiness
among the branches which go disappearing,
hours of light even now pecked away by the birds,
omens which even now fly out of my hand,

an actual presence like a burst of singing,
like the song of the wind in a burning building,
a long look holding the whole world suspended,
the world with all its seas and all its mountains,
body of light as it is filtered through agate,
the thighs of light, the belly of light, the bays,
the solar rock and the cloud-colored body,
color of day that goes racing and leaping,
the hour glitters and assumes its body,
now the world stands, visible through your body,
and is transparent through your transparency,****

[]{#Alternating_Current_.281967.29}[Alternating Current (1967)]{#Alternating_Current_(1967) .mw-headline}[[[]{.mw-editsection-bracket}edit[]]{.mw-editsection-bracket}]

If we are a metaphor of the universe, the human couple is the metaphor par excellence, the point of intersection of all forces and the seed of all forms.

[]{#The_Monkey_Grammarian_.281974.29}[The Monkey Grammarian (1974)]{#The_Monkey_Grammarian_(1974) .mw-headline}[[[]{.mw-editsection-bracket}edit[]]{.mw-editsection-bracket}]

Without this end that constantly eludes us we would not journey forth, nor would there be any paths. But the end is the refutation and the condemnation of the path: at the end the path dissolves, the meeting fades away to nothingness. And the end — it too fades away to nothingness.

El mono gramático (1974), English translation (1981)

No one is alone, and each change here brings about another change there. No one is alone and nothing is solid: change is comprised of fixities that are momentary accords.

Categories: - Latin American poets - Essayists - Philosophers - Translators - Ambassadors - Diplomats - People from Mexico City - 1914 births - 1998 deaths - Nobel laureates in Literature

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