A Tale Of Two Gardens
by Octavio Paz
Translated from the Spanish 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. “No other Western poet has been as immersed in India as Paz,” writes Eliot Weinberger in his introduction. “More incredibly, perhaps not since Victor Segalen… has a Western poet been so expert on, experienced in, and written so extensively about, a cultural other. Our literary news of the world, for no reason, tends to come from novelists.” A Tale of Two Gardens presents a beautiful, complex, and utterly unclassifiable India, one only a poet such as Octavio Paz could know.