- Paperback: 688 pages
- Publisher: New Directions (April 17, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780811211734
- ISBN-13: 978-0811211734
- ASIN: 0811211738
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz: 1957-1987 (Bilingual Edition) Paperback – April 17, 1991
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“Octavio Paz is such a masterly presence in the dialogue of Latin American culture that it is easy to forget he is first and foremost a poet. . .but a reading of this volume reveals that in the polyphony of his voices the poetic one still rings loudest and clearest.”
- Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was born in Mexico City. He wrote many volumes of poetry, as well as a prolific body of remarkable works of nonfiction on subjects as varied as poetics, literary and art criticism, politics, culture, and Mexican history. He was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in 1977, the Cervantes Prize in 1981, and the Neustadt Prize in 1982. He received the German Peace Prize for his political work, and finally, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.
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First of all I have been a huge fan of Spanish Language poets, especially Neruda, Vallejo and Lorca for years, and cannot believe that I have missed Paz along the way. The name was familiar but had not read his work. Can't even recall now how I came across him recently, read a few things I found online and it struck a chord with me immediately. And when I began to research his books this one stood out. In short, it is far better than I expected. The work of Paz resonates so deeply with me and I suppose as a writer one of the ways I do "measure" the value of a book is when it inspires me to write, and this book has given me much inspiration. I always get bilingual editions- I read Spanish, French and Italian now to a lesser degree, which is a bit strange because I am Italian but only started to learn to language a couple of years ago. I lived in Mexico for a year and spoke it as often as I could, but I haven't done so in many years so I do not speak it very well anymore, but read it fairly well, the same with French. There are several French writers, poets in particular, that equally move me, in one way or another, and most are from the early 20th Century, although I have come across a couple who are still writing today. But I suppose with "Spanish" poets, wherever they are from, I am moved in a much different way. It comes down to levels of passion in the art that Lorca called "duende". I can't put this tome down. In a short time, Paz has become one of my favorite poets. And this book has become a cherished addition to my library. I have been writing poetry for about 45 years; I grew up with the Beats, and those poets who were their influences and poets who they influenced of my generation. Over the years I have been drawn more to French and Spanish writers mostly of the early 20th century, although Paz wrote a bit later. I am intrigued with Paz's style and imagery. Like Lorca he can 'astonish' with just a few lines of verse. The way in which he strings words, phrases together is magical. His passion hit me in such a deep place. I found him in a time of my life when I needed to. This has usually been the case. I have published two novels and a collection of selected poetry that spans 40+ years of my life. I believe that great writers are born, most of the real greats seem like they have existed on some other plane. And I know how important great writers have been to me as both a read and a writer. Several of my favorite Spanish language writers truly capture the essence and nuance of "darkness and light", and Paz is one of the best. It is hard for me to compare, for example, to Neruda or Lorca because I have been reading them for so long, but it is very rare for any poet to totally engage me so quickly. This collection is excellent, the translations are very good, an art in itself. I highly recommend this book to any one who already knows of Paz, and to anyone that appreciates truly great writing.