Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz was born in Mexico City in 1914 and died there in 1998. He was without question one of the most influential, erudite, and renowned poets of the twentieth century—poetry for him being “the secret religion of the modern age.” In 1990, the Swedish Academy awarded Paz the Nobel Prize in Literature “for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity.” The author, translator, and editor of an astonishing range of books, Paz is “a writer for the entire world to celebrate” (Chicago Tribune), “the poet-archer who goes straight to the heart and mind, where the center of being is one” (Nadine Gordimer), “a model of lucidity and responsibility” (Czeslaw Milosz). New Directions publishes twelve collections of his poetry.

The Poems of Octavio Paz

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated from the Spanish by Eliot Weinberger

Edited by Eliot Weinberger

The Poems of Octavio Paz is the first retrospective collection of Paz’s poetry to span his entire writing career, from his first published poem, at age seventeen, to his magnificent last poem. This landmark bilingual edition contains many poems that have never been translated into English before, plus new translations based on Paz’s final revisions. Assiduously edited by Eliot Weinberger—who has been translating Paz for over forty years—The Poems of Octavio Paz also includes additional translations by the poet-luminaries Elizabeth Bishop, Paul Blackburn, Denise Levertov, Muriel Rukeyser, and Charles Tomlinson.…
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Figures & Figurations

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated by Eliot Weinberger

Figures and Figurations, one of the last works completed by the great late Mexican poet Octavio Paz before his death in 1998, is a stunning collaborative project with his wife, the acclaimed artist Marie Jose Paz. In response to ten of her collage-constructions, he wrote ten new short poems; she in turn created two new artworks in response to two of his earlier poems. “These objects sometimes surprise us,” Paz writes, “and sometimes make us dream or laugh (humor is one of the poles of her work).…
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Selected Poems of Octavio Paz

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated by Eliot Weinberger

Edited by Eliot Weinberger

Octavio Paz, asserts Eliot Weinberger in his introduction to these Selected Poems, is among the last of the modernists “who drew their own maps of the world.” For Latin America’s foremost living poet, his native Mexico has been the center of a global mandala, a cultural configuration that, in his life and work, he has traced to its furthest reaches: to Spain, as a young Marxist during the Civil War; to San Francisco and New York in the early 1940s; to Paris, as a surrealist, in the postwar years; to India and Japan in 1952, and to the East again as his country’s ambassador to India from 1962 to 1968; and to various universities in the United States throughout the 1970s.…
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A Tale Of Two Gardens

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated by Eliot Weinberger

Edited by Eliot Weinberger

A Tale of Two Gardens collects the poetry from over 40 years of Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz’s many and various commitments to India––as Mexican ambassador, student of Indian philosophy, and above all, as poet. Despite having written many acclaimed non-fiction books on the region, he has always considered those writings to be footnotes to the poems. From the long work “Mutra,” written in 1952 and accompanied here by a new commentary by the author, to the celebrated poems of East Slope, and his recent adaptations from the classical Sanskrit, Paz scripts his India with a mixture of deft sensualism and hands-on politics.…
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Sunstone

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated by Eliot Weinberger

Edited by Eliot Weinberger

Nobel laureate Octavio Paz’s premier long poem Sunstone/Piedra de Sol is here printed as a separate volume, with beautiful illustrations from an eighteenth-century treatise on the Mexican calendar. Presented in Eliot Weinberger’s excellent new translation with the Spanish texts en face, this is the 1957 poem “that definitively established Paz as a major international figure” (Sagetrieb). Written as a single cyclical sentence (at the end of the poem the first six lines are written again), Sunstone is a tour de force of momentum.…
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Collected Poems 1957-1987

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated by Eliot Weinberger

Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz is incontestably Latin America’s foremost living poet. The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz is a landmark bilingual gathering of all the poetry he has published in book form since 1957, the year of his premier long poem, Sunstone (Piedra de Sol)––here translated anew by Eliot Weinberger––made its appearance. This is followed by the complete texts of Days and Occasions (Días Hábiles), Homage and Desecrations (Homenaje y Profanaciones), Salamander (Salamandra), Solo for Two Voices (Solo a Dos Voces), East Slope (Ladera Este), Toward the Beginning (Hacia el Comienzo), Blanco, Topoems (Topoemas), Return (Vuelta), A Draft of Shadows (Pasado en Claro), Airborn (Hijos del Aire), and Paz’s most recent collection, A Tree Within (Arbol Adentro).…
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A Tree Within

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated from the Spanish by Eliot Weinberger

A Tree Within (Arbol Adentro), the first collection of new poems by the great Mexican author Octavio Paz since his Return (Vuelta) of 1975, was originally published as the final section of The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz, 1957-1987. Among these later poems is a series of works dedicated to such artists as Miró, Balthus, Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Tapies, Alechinsky, Monet, and Matta, as well as a number of epigrammatic and Chinese-like lyrics.…
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A Draft Of Shadows

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated from the Spanish by Eliot Weinberger

Edited by Eliot Weinberger

A Draft of Shadows and Other Poems is the most recent collection of the work of Mexico’s leading poet and essayist, Octavio Paz. The first section of poems, from Ladera este (East Slope, 1969), reflects some of Paz’s experiences as his country’s ambassador to India (1962-68). Following stays in England, France, and the United States, he returned to Mexico in 1971, reacting to the urban sprawl and violence of Mexico City with the four long poems of disaster and rage that, together with shorter poems more familiar in tone, make up Vuelta (“Return,” 1976).…
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Eagle Or Sun?

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Translated from the Spanish by Eliot Weinberger

Edited by Eliot Weinberger

The first major book of short prose poetry in Spanish, Eagle or Sun? (Aguila o Sol?) exerted an enormous influence on modern Latin American writing. Written in 1949-50 by Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz, Eagle or Sun? has as its mythopoeic “place” Mexico––a country caught up in its pre-Columbian past, the world of modern imperialism, and an apocalyptic future foretold by the Aztec calendar. Indeed, three personae of the book–the goddess Itzapaplotl, the prophet clerk, the poet––are manifestations of the threefold aspects of the land.…
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Early Poems 1935-1955

Poetry by Octavio Paz

“The growth of the work of Octavio Paz,” writes Muriel Rukeyser in her preface to this bilingual selection of the Mexican poet’s Early Poems, “has made clear to an audience in many languages what was evident from the beginning … he is a great poet, a world-poet whom we need. The poems here speak––as does all his work since––deeply, erotically, with grave and passionate involvement.” In this, a much revised edition of the earlier Selected Poems (Indiana University Press, 1963), Miss Rukeyser has joined to her own translations those of Paul Blackburn, Lysander Kemp, Denise Levertov, and William Carlos Williams, while many of the readings embody Paz’s own revisions of the original texts.…
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Configurations

Poetry by Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz, the 1990 Nobel Laureate, has won distinction as an anthropologist, philosopher and critic of art and literature. But it is as a poet that he is most celebrated. Configurations was his first major collection to be published in this country, and includes in their entirety Sun Stone (1957) and Blanco (1967). Paz himself translated many of the poems from the Spanish. Some distinguished contributors to this bilingual edition include, among others, Paul Blackburn, Lysander Kemp.…
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The question of who or what writes a poem, which agency creates which pieces, even if none of the players is exactly automatic, takes us a long way into Paz’s work, handsomely represented in this new collection.

London Review of Books

[Paz] believed in poetry’s ability to cleanse our perception, free us from clichés of the mind and the body, and intensify experience.

Bookslut

Readers will marvel at Paz’s variety: haiku-like miniatures; the tempestuous book-length poem ‘Sunstone’; fast-moving prose poems; abstract odes; extended descriptions of places in Mexico, India, Afghanistan, and Japan.

Publishers Weekly

The pleasure of this volume is the consistent, almost gentle voice that lays out for the reader Paz’s convictions and questions. ‘Gentle’ though should not indicate easy of peaceful or unquestioning. Paz raises his anxieties, doubts, and disruptions. Rather it is the artfulness with which he does so that carries the reader along.

—Three Percent

That rarity, an authoritative translation that should get sustained U.S. attention, and that often sounds right read aloud.

Publishers Weekly

Paz’s poetry is a seismograph of our country’s turbulence, a crossroads where East meets West.

—Publishers Weekly

‘To possess truth in one soul and body.’ Rimbaud’s ideal might also he said to lie behind the post-Christian, post-Nietzschean poetry of Octavio Paz, with its search for innocence, its explorations of the time that love establishes within time, and its reaching through and beyond dualism.

—Charles Tomlinson
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