Friday, July 13, 2012


Love they kept crying love swiftness
already at rest     love the unmoving
in full flight --- the gravity of speed:
Half of the water grew dark     half
of the air     a black round entered the water
and night was half a lake:

And love, a command no more, to each one
the way lies clear through the comity of vine, of stone:
(through places that are years, before lit-up show windows
which are dialogues split-off from montage:  you return, once
     more, by the rue du
Dragon, you come down your stairs: )

From Renga, A Chain of Poems by Octavio Paz, Jacques Roubaud, Eduardo Sanguinetti, Charles Tomlinson (translations by Charles Tomlinson).  New York, George Braziller, 1971.

Top illustration:  Dora Maar, The Pretender, Photo-collage, 1936.

Bottom illustration: Eugene Atget, Staircase, ca. 1900-1910.


  1. You're nice to notice and say that. The Dora Maar is simply unbelievable, I think. Atget is always great. The poem, from which this is excerpted, is a fascinating work and exercise.