Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Of past forever arriving...


Picture courtesy: conferenceonoctaviopaz.blogspot.com


My favourite poet Octavio Paz would love this. India had a profound influence on Paz, and he began writing what he called circular poems. Words, meaning floating in open space. Like patios, and cobble-stoned paths, shadows, and labyrinths, things coming back to oneself is a common theme in his poems. He opens his long poem, Sunstone (a part of which you will find on this blog) with:

a crystal willow, a poplar of water,
a tall fountain the wind arches over,
a tree deep-rooted yet dancing still,
a course of a river that turns, moves on,
doubles back, and comes full circle,
forever arriving:

Some 18 years ago, I gifted Paz's Collected Poems to a friend and a former colleague who now lives on the other side of the planet. The fellow traveller sent a copy of the same book to me this afternoon as my 40th birthday gift after I told her that I have always gifted this wonderful volume, never owned one. Moving my fingers on the 663 page tome edited by Eliot Weinberger gave me a sense of deja vu. A sense of time gone by. A sense of memory. What Paz would call the labyrinth of memory! (His collection The Labyrinth of Solitude catapulted him into international scene)

In other words, friends, you are going to read more of Octavio Paz's poems on this blog since now I own a copy. So some more of Paz poems coming your way...Thanks fellow traveller!

With Eyes Closed

With eyes closed
you light up within
you are blind stone

Night after night I carve you
with eyes closed
you are frank stone

We have become enormous
just knowing each other
with eyes closed.

Landscape

Rock and precipice,
more time than stone, this
timeless matter

Through its cicatrices
falls without moving
perpetual virgin water.

Immensity reposes here
rock on rock,
rocks over air.

The world's manifest
as it is: a sun
immobile, in the abyss.

Scale of vertigo:
the crags weigh
no more than our shadows

Googling around, I found a wonderfully detailed interview with Octavio Paz on The Paris Review. Do read.
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