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Saturday, April 3, 2021

What Makes Us Human

“Language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.” – Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz Lozano held the rare distinction of being both a diplomat and a writer – primarily focusing on poetry.  His work won three major awards, beginning with Mexico’s Miguel de Cervantes Prize, then the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and finally Nobel Prize in 1990.
At the age of 23, while studying law and politics, Paz first tried his hand at writing, 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. 
"The poetry of Octavio Paz," wrote the critic Ramon Xirau "does not hesitate between language and silence; it leads into the realm of silence where true language lives."  For Saturday's Poem, here is Paz's,

The Bridge

Between now and now,
between I am and you are,
the word bridge.

Entering it
you enter yourself:
the world connects
and closes like a ring.

From one bank to another,
there is always
a body stretched:
a rainbow.
I'll sleep beneath its arches.

And a link to, “As One Listens To The Rain.”  

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