Octavio Paz

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

Octavio Paz
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Mexican poet, essayist, and political thinker. His works reflect many influences, including Marxism, surrealism, and Aztec mythology. El laberinto de la soledad/The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950), the book which brought him to world attention, explores Mexico's heritage. His long poem Piedra del sol/Sun Stone (1957) uses contrasting images, centring on the Aztec Calendar Stone (representing the Aztec universe), to symbolize the loneliness of individuals and their search for union with others. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.

In 1962 Paz was appointed Mexican ambassador to India, but resigned in 1968 in protest against the Mexican government's killing of 200 ... more »

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Octavio Paz Quotations

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  • ''"Art" is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers.... What we call art is a game.''
    Octavio Paz (b. 1914), Mexican poet. "André Breton or the Quest of the Beginning," Alternating Current (1967).
    143 person liked.
    60 person did not like.
  • ''Man does not speak because he thinks; he thinks because he speaks. Or rather, speaking is no different than thinking: to speak is to think.''
    Octavio Paz (b. 1914), Mexican poet. "André Breton or the Quest of the Beginning," Alternating Current (1967).
    111 person liked.
    50 person did not like.
  • If we are a metaphor of the universe, the human couple is the metaphor par excellence, the point of intersection of all forces and the seed of all forms. The couple is time recaptured, the return to t...
    Octavio Paz (b. 1914), Mexican poet. "André Breton or the Quest of the Beginning," Alternating Current (1967).
    61 person liked.
    21 person did not like.
  • ''Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.''
    Octavio Paz (b. 1914), Mexican poet. "Development and Other Mirages," The Other Mexico: Critique of the Pyramid (1972).
    50 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • ''What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism.''
    Octavio Paz (b. 1914), Mexican poet. "Invention, Underdevelopment, Modernity," Alternating Current (1967).
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Comments about Octavio Paz

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  • Soran M. H Soran M. H (12/21/2019 4:59:00 PM)

    he is great poet, my first favorite modern poet, his works are different and amazing

    10 person liked.
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  • Imnotwritingmyname (5/18/2019 7:33:00 AM)

    I love Octavio Paz! I had him for a spanish project and in my opinion he is the best South American poet ever!

    7 person liked.
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  • jayro dyer (4/5/2019 4:59:00 PM)

    how about publishing poems in the language they were written?

    9 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Charlie Jade (11/14/2018 12:38:00 PM)

    Nice! Love his poem(s) ! Octavio Paz is an amazing guy, just doing an assignment for school, thought he was boring. But after reading these, it was awesome! I know take him as an inspirer.

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Andrés Paz Otero (9/25/2018 8:44:00 AM)

    I love this guy is amazing

    5 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Gazi Saiful islam (1/5/2014 7:31:00 AM)

    From world literature scene Octavio Paz is my favorite, I just start to translate Paz's poem. One week ago I already translate these as: Across, As One Listens To The Rain, Axis, Between Going and Coming, Brotherhood, Counterparts, Last Dawn, No More Clichés, Passage, Spaces, The Street, The Bridge etc from poemhunter.com. I think next year I can publish a book on Paz and his Peoms.

    21 person liked.
    25 person did not like.
  • Sayeed Abubakar Sayeed Abubakar (12/28/2012 3:46:00 AM)

    A great poet of the world. He is one of my favorite poems since my university life. I did not know then that my lot will lead me to his country. I feel now happy that my beloved Alma Lorena Lopez Velazquez is a nymph of his country.

    32 person liked.
    43 person did not like.
  • Alex Gomez (6/21/2009 12:55:00 AM)

    I do not know too much about this man, but there is a charter school named after him in Chicago and I attended my first year of schooling there, so he must have been a very influential figure through his words.

    46 person liked.
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  • Narendran Vr (11/15/2004 4:35:00 AM)

    A great poet, and also associated with India, Paz have great influence on contemporary Indian poetry.Poets like K, G.Sankara Pillai have imitated Paz to a great extent.Often misquoted and mis=understood as a marxist poet although a school he do not belongs to, Paz put forward the magical experience of poetry of fine quality and great human values.His poems have a personal touch and a nature to talk to the inner profiles.

    32 person liked.
    44 person did not like.
Read all 9 comments »
Best Poem of Octavio Paz

As One Listens To The Rain

Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it's raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and ...

Read the full of As One Listens To The Rain
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