A Tree Within
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. Two remarkable long poems ––”I Speak of the City,” a Whitmanesque apocalyptic evocation of the contemporary urban nightmare, and “Letter of Testimony,” a meditation on love and death––are emblematic of the mature poet in a prophetic voice.