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Saturday, April 1, 2023

'Where true language lives'


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

Born on March 31, 1914 Mexican writer Octavio Paz Lozano held the rare distinction of being both a diplomat and a writer.  He won three major writing awards capped by the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.


Paz wrote the first of his long, ambitious poems "Between the Stone and the Flower" at age 23.  The work explores the situation of Mexican peasants under the domineering landlords of the day.  From that point Paz served his country as both a diplomat and an  eloquent and bold writer about life, the land, and the people around him.


"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.

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