Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Selected Poems” as Want to Read:
Selected Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Selected Poems

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  258 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Octavio Paz, asserts Eliot Weinberger in his introduction to theseSelected Poems, is among the last of the modernists "who drew their own maps of the world." For Latin America's foremost living poet, his native Mexico has been the center of a global mandala, a cultural configuration that, in his life and work, he has traced to its furthest reaches: to Spain, as a young Mar ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 17th 1984 by New Directions (first published August 30th 1979)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Selected Poems, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Selected Poems

The Rings of Saturn by W.G. SebaldLabyrinths by Jorge Luis BorgesThe Hour of the Star by Clarice LispectorLast Evenings on Earth by Roberto BolañoA Heart So White by Javier Marías
Best New Directions Books
20th out of 96 books — 101 voters
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezHomo Faber by Max FrischThe Complete Poems, 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop
Neustadt International Prize Laureates
44th out of 53 books — 34 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 489)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Imen Benyoub
A visionary..I lost myself in the labyrinths of his language..

My hands
open the curtains of your being
clothe you in a further nudity
uncover t he bodies of your body
My hands
invent another body for your body
Farhan Khalid
میں دنیا کی چوٹی پر نہیں ہوں 

یہ لمحہ کسی سنیاسی کا ٹیلہ ہے

جس پر کوئی تارک الدنیا بیٹھا رہے

وقت میرے پاؤں سے اٹھتا نہیں

میرے سر میں

ایک خاموش سیاہ دھماکہ بن کر پھٹتا نہیں

روشنی اور اندھیرا ایک بن چکے ہیں

رات ایک بے ربط سرگوشی ہے

ایک جسم خود سے چمٹا ہوا

خود کو خود سے جدا کرنے میں مصروف

خواب کٹی ہوئی انگلیوں سے

خواب کے عالم میں اپنے آپ کو چھوتا ہے

میں کسی دوراہے پر نہیں ہوں

چیزوں میں سے ایک کو چن لینا غلط راستے پر چلنا ہے

آغاز پھسل رہا ہے

انجام غائب ہے

نہ کوئی آغاز ہے نہ کوئی انجام

میں ایک وقفے کے
this is way sexy and observant. He really plays with time and light.
Reading this collection, I felt, at times, lost in the mirrors of language. Octavio Paz turns words metaphysical, turns them into silences, into chiaroscuro. A kind of melange of Paul Celan and John Cage.

The closing lines to A Draft of Shadows:

I am where I was:
I walk behind the murmur,
footsteps within me, heard with my eyes,
the murmur is in the mind, I am my footsteps,
I hear the voices that I think,
the voices that think me as I think them.
I am the shadow my words cast.
let the words lay down their arms and the poem be one single
interwoven word,
and may the soul be the blackened grass after fire, the lunar
breast of a sea that’s turned to stone and reflects nothing
except splayed dimension, expansion, space lying down upon
itself, spread wings immense,
and may everything be like flame that cuts itself into and freezes
into the rock of diaphanous bowels,
hard blazing resolved now in crystal, peaceable clarity.
And the river goes back upstream, strikes its sails, picks u
cras culture
I found this collection to be most excellent. It was eerie, with the specters of time, poetics and metaphor constantly haunting the works. It was lush and verdant both in the depth of scenery described as well as the combination of skillfully chosen words that are so powerful and evocative in these works. It was somewhat dense, yet not pretentious and likely to be, at least for those familiar with some poetry, enjoyably approachable. It was magical, with secret tunnels to other worlds, circumst ...more
Andrew Hodgson
His strength is in essays.
Another incredible, transcendent collection of Paz's work. Though there is a lot of overlap between this and the configurations collection, there are also a fair amount of different pieces. This volume is much more meditative on the nature of language than configurations. Once again, Paz manages to capture the smallest moments and let them reverberate out into the void.
Laurie Williams
I have reread this collection of poems so often, that the pages are tattered. This is one of those books to literally devour. It has coffee and tea stains and clay stains from taking ot to the clay studio. I have repaired the pages and the spine over and over again. I love, love, love this book.
Dec 30, 2011 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Although I enjoyed it I struggle a bit with translated poetry, worrying if I'm seeing the work of the poet or of the translator, but it was good to read the works of this Nobel Laureate for the first time
J.M. Hushour
I love this guy! He definitely puts all the other Mexican, surrealist suckah MC poets in their proper place.
بهمن بهمن
khoondam va khosham ham naioomad.shaiad be zaboonew khodeshoon ghashnage,khoda aaleme;)
Alef Tav
Alef Tav marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2015
Dornez marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2015
Jonathan Alva
Jonathan Alva marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2015
Megan Hoover
Megan Hoover marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2015
Stephanie marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2015
Lauren added it
Aug 15, 2015
Derek marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2015
Mary marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2015
Jeffrey marked it as to-read
Aug 01, 2015
Paige marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2015
Ethan May
Ethan May marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • 100 Poems from the Japanese
  • Dark Fields of the Republic
  • Selected Poems: Summer Knowledge
  • The Union Jack
  • Poems of the Late T'ang
  • Heaven and Other Poems
  • The Romantic Dogs
  • Warhorses
  • Desire: Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • Watchfiends and Rack Screams: Works from the Final Period
  • Black Zodiac
  • Selected Writings
  • Human Dark with Sugar
  • Selected Writings
  • Alive Together
  • Walking the Black Cat
  • Soledades
Octavio Paz Lozano (March 31, 1914 – April 19, 1998) was a Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1982 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature ("for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity.")
More about Octavio Paz...
The Labyrinth of Solitude and Other Writings The Collected Poems, 1957-1987 El laberinto de la soledad The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism Sunstone

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »