As Weinberger, long a translator of Mexican Nobel laureate Paz, acknowledges in a prefatory note to this comprehensive, dual-language retrospective, any act of translation remains forever incomplete. This is nowhere clearer, perhaps, than in this generous volume that uniquely covers Paz’s full evolution as an artist, from early, timid attempts to the prose-like passages of his postwar years to his accomplished, playful later pieces. Weinberger, along with a few poet-translators, such as Elizabeth Bishop, Denise Levertov, and Muriel Rukeyser, wrestles with the reflexive forms of alliterative Spanish, the informal second-person pronoun, which has no real analog in English, and the tricky accentual stresses and shades of emphasis found in Spanish. Weinberger includes poems never before translated into English, a fresh and concise biography of Paz, and a wealth of poems written all over the world, from Delhi to Paris to Tokyo and beyond, a representative selection which attests to Paz’s genuine cosmopolitanism. An incomparable entrée into a versatile and globally influential poet’s work. --Diego Báez
““Paz’s great achievement was to infuse thought into poetry and poetry into thought. He charged his prose with metaphorical lightning and his poetry with discursive lucidity.”” (Carlos Fuentes - The Los Angeles Times)
“The question of who or what writes a poem, which agency creates which pieces, even if none of the players is exactly automatic, takes us a long way into Paz’s work, handsomely represented in this new collection.” (The London Review of Books)
Readers will marvel at Paz's variety: haiku-like miniatures; the tempestuous book-length poem 'Sunstone'; fast-moving prose poems; abstract odes; extended descriptions of places in Mexico, India, Afghanistan, and Japan.
” (Publishers Weekly)
That rarity, an authoritative translation that should get sustained U.S. attention, and that often sounds right read aloud.
” (Publishers Weekly)
"[Paz] believed in poetry's ability to cleanse our perception, free us from clichés of the mind and the body, and intensify experience."
The pleasure of this volume is the consistent, almost gentle voice that lays out for the reader Paz's convictions and questions. 'Gentle' though should not indicate easy of peaceful or unquestioning. Paz raises his anxieties, doubts, and disruptions. Rather it is the artfulness with which he does so that carries the reader along.
” (Three Percent)