Poet of the Week | Octavio Paz

By Administrator RSS Thu, June 7, 2007

Octavio Paz Lozano was born in Mexico City in 1914. His father was a journalist involved in Emiliano Zapata's uprisings. In 1938, he helped found the magazine Taller ("Workshop"), which showcased the new literary movement in Mexico. In 1945, he went to France as a diplomat and wrote a seminal work examining Mexican identity entitled The Labyrinth of Solitude. While in France, Paz took part in the surrealist movement. He won the Cervantes award in 1981 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990.


Si tú eres la yegua de ámbar
yo soy el camino de sangre

Si tú eres la primer nevada
yo soy el que enciende el brasero del alba

Si tú eres la torre de la noche
yo soy el clavo ardiendo en tu frente

Si tú eres la marea matutina
yo soy el grito del primer pájaro

Si tú eres la cesta de naranjas
yo soy el cuchillo de sol

Si tú eres el altar de piedra
yo soy la mano sacrílega

Si tú eres la tierra acostada
yo soy la caña verde

Si tú eres el salto del viento
yo soy el fuego enterrado

Si tú eres la boca del agua
yo soy la boca del musgo

Si tú eres el bosque de las nubes
yo soy el hacha que las parte

Si tú eres la ciudad profanada
yo soy la lluvia de consagración

Si tú eres la montaña amarilla
yo soy los brazos rojos del liquen

Si tú eres el sol que se levanta
yo soy el camino de sangre



Motion (translated by Eliot Weinberger)

If you are the amber mare
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

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