Octavio Paz

(March 31, 1914 – April 19, 1998 / Mexico City)

No More Clichés

Beautiful face
That like a daisy opens its petals to the sun
So do you
Open your face to me as I turn the page.

Enchanting smile
Any man would be under your spell,
Oh, beauty of a magazine.

How many poems have been written to you?
How many Dantes have written to you, Beatrice?
To your obsessive illusion
To you manufacture fantasy.

But today I won't make one more Cliché
And write this poem to you.
No, no more clichés.

This poem is dedicated to those women
Whose beauty is in their charm,
In their intelligence,
In their character,
Not on their fabricated looks.

This poem is to you women,
That like a Shahrazade wake up
Everyday with a new story to tell,
A story that sings for change
That hopes for battles:
Battles for the love of the united flesh
Battles for passions aroused by a new day
Battle for the neglected rights
Or just battles to survive one more night.

Yes, to you women in a world of pain
To you, bright star in this ever-spending universe
To you, fighter of a thousand-and-one fights
To you, friend of my heart.

From now on, my head won't look down to a magazine
Rather, it will contemplate the night
And its bright stars,
And so, no more clichés.

Submitted: Saturday, April 03, 2004

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  • Freshman - 1,515 Points Yacov Mitchenko (6/15/2010 2:43:00 AM)

    Octavio Paz has written some magnificent poetry and is among my favorite 20th century poets, but this work is only passable. Paz expresses a fine sentiment - namely, that a woman should be appreciated for many reasons, and her looks is the least of them. There is beauty in her charm, intelligence, character, but I fail to see how all this goes beyond the cliches. The last 2 stanzas are particularly poor: I see 2 cliches and 2 trite and prosaic statements. Note: 'bright star in this ever-spending universe', 'world of pain', 'fighter...', and 'contemplate the night and its bright stars'. The first and last of these are certainly cliches, while 'world of pain' and 'fighters...' are trite and prosaic. Many readers judge a poem (falsely) on the basis of whether it agrees with their sensibilities, whether it has certain political content. In short, their judgements are usually emotive, divorced from considerations of craft and artistry. I for one can recognize and laud a poem whose content may be offensive (or at least controversial) , but which is beautifully and originally crafted. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,515 Points Sandra Dodd (1/17/2010 11:18:00 AM)

    As a woman, not one who writes, I am honored that there is a man on the planet who thinks like this. Great Job! Now required reading for the girls I mentor, if ya dont mind. Gotta try to get them to set the bar higher. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,515 Points ~*Nezra*~ Farrell (8/12/2009 5:19:00 PM)

    Its not all about the curves and clothes.After awhile they will shrivel and wrinkle.Then you must dig deeper.Which is something that should have been done before hand. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,515 Points ♫ ♫ (3/18/2009 3:00:00 PM)

    this is the truth! This is how we unconsciously judge people: by their physical appearance and not by the way they behave. so sad but anyway.
    good poem. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,070 Points Kassem Oude (12/8/2008 11:15:00 PM)

    Very brave writing I full agree with. World is going down, the whale of money is pitiless and women obey and comply many of them. We speak about human rights in 21st century, people are not goods, they are value and virtue... (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,070 Points Joseph Poewhit (11/20/2008 5:56:00 AM)

    PAZ seen the reality of life, vs. - the magazine Images of love. Really a regression to the womb, kiddie porn, illusions post adolesence love, taking the place of reality. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,070 Points Rochelle Cashdan (5/18/2008 9:53:00 PM)

    Many people think Octavio Paz the outstanding Mexican poet of the 20th century. Please add more poems by him here or at your partner site, Classic etc. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,070 Points Rochelle Cashdan (5/18/2008 9:53:00 PM)

    Many people think Octavio Paz the outstanding Mexican poet of the 20th century. Please add more poems by him here or at your partner site, Classic etc. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,070 Points Trevor Boley (4/24/2008 5:51:00 PM)

    I don't think he is actually talking about women, it's a metaphor to poetry, not women, that's the point of talking about the Women as clichés, that a literary term. Octavio Paz was a poet of poetry, and most of his poems point at poetry itself. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,070 Points Czyka Tumaliuan (1/16/2008 6:06:00 AM)

    FOR MR. MARIANI: The poem is a result of the persona's realization of the utter superficiality of 'cliches' in magazines. He establishes in the first stanza that he is indeed looking at a magazine. However, he seems to have not enjoyed as he realized how shallow these 'cliches' are, how they degrade the worth of women. And thus he resolved: 'from now on I won't put my head down on a magzine'. I don't see any problem with the ending. The persona was consistent. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,070 Points Tom J. Mariani (11/9/2007 5:02:00 PM)

    Dear Octavio, (not that I expect a response)
    LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE. You had me convinced up until the part about putting the magazine down. Caught you lookin'. (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »

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