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Configurations: Poetry

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  141 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Configurations was his first major collection to be published in this country, and includes in their entirety Sun Stone (1957) and Blanco (1967). Paz himself translated many of the poems from the Spanish. Some distinguished contributors to this bilingual edition include, among others, Paul Blackburn, Lysander Kemp. Denise Levertov, and Muriel Rukeyser. Paz's poems, althoug ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published January 17th 1971 by New Directions
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May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
These poems are generally quite difficult and there was much here I didn't really get. But when I did feel like I was getting it, I thought it was terrific, and even when I didn't, I enjoyed many arresting images and paradoxes.

Here's the short poem "Dawn" ("Madrugada"), translated by Charles Tomlinson:

Cold rapid hands
Draw back one by one
The bandages of dark
I open my eyes
I am living
At the centre
Of a wound still fresh
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Octavio Paz has this transcendent gift for poems which words transform into images as you read them. His use of red, blue, white, black, yellow are especially notable as they constantly enforce the spirit of Mexico that he invokes .

"Sunstone" & "Blanco" are highly recommended (but really they all are)!

"I want to go on, to go beyond; I cannot;
the moment scatters itself in many things,
I have slept the dreams of the stone that never dreams
and deep among the dreams of years like stones
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing

Octavio Paz's poems are subtle, earthy, and erotic. There is also a duality in his pieces; things can be and not be in the same instant, and he elegantly crafts his words to give that juxtaposition of varying realities resonance. His verses remind me of the parables found in the Bible-stories that teach on many levels. The deeper you go, the more complicated the philosophy, and the closer you get to simpler truth.
The intertwined themes of sex, eroticism, and love demonstrate the fecundity of th
Mac Vogt
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's clear that Paz is a genius, and so I cannot rate this below five regardless of my inability to grasp much of it. But that is somewhat the point with surrealism, yes? These poems slip over me, rewarding re-reading with further ambiguities and suspicious clarities as maybe all clarities should be or are or not. Challenging.
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Paz finds these impossiblly small moments in time and space and unwinds them to reveal a transcendent beauty that is almost overpowering. Paz charts places in the psyche both mystical and profound with an almost disturbing ease. Best read in a quiet, contemplative isolation.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Very dense poetry with broad cultural references. It seems like a book that could be studied at a graduate level. I certainly realized that this was great poetry but that perhaps I was not worthy of fully appreciating it.
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: verse
Silence's architecture . . .
Jan 03, 2008 added it
Another poet that uses form and language to push the envelope.
Highly recommended
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
this is on my nightshelf
rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2012
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Octavio Paz Lozano 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.")
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