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. Denise Levertov, and Muriel Rukeyser. Paz’s poems, although rooted in the mythology of South America and his native Mexico, nevertheless have an international background, transfiguring the images of the contemporary world. Powerful, angry, erotic, they voice the desires and rage of a generation.