Friday, April 29, 2011

proem - octavio paz

by Octavio Paz (tr. Eliot Weinberger)

     At times poetry is the vertigo of bodies and the vertigo of joy 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 fire to 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 dissipa-
tion 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

Syllables seeds.

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