“Language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.” – Octavio Paz
Paz, born in Mexico in March 1914, was both a diplomat and a writer – primarily focusing on poetry. For his body of work he won three major awards, beginning with his own country’s Miguel de Cervantes Prize in 1981, then the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1982, and capping it with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.
Paz started writing at age 23, working on the first of his long, ambitious poems, "Between the Stone and the Flower." Influenced by the work of T.S. Eliot, it explores the situation of the Mexican peasant under the domineering landlords of the day. He co-founded and wrote for the literary magazine Taller until entering the diplomatic corps in 1941. For the rest of his life, he served his country diplomatically while eloquently and boldly writing about life, the land, and the people around him.
For Saturday’s Poem, here is Paz’s,
Between now and now,
between I am and you are,
the word bridge.
you enter yourself:
the world connects
and closes like a ring.
From one bank to another,
there is always
a body stretched:
I'll sleep beneath its arches.
I also wanted to share this link to his eloquent, “As One Listens To the Rain.” Powerful poetic writing at its best. Enjoy.
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