The last week or so been I have been working my way through a collection of the poetry of Octavio Paz. I have liked the individual Paz poems I have come across occasionally (years ago had an instructor in college that was really really into his work) but have never sat down and read a bunch of his poems together at one time.
Two things I like about his poetry and one thing I don’t like….
1.) His poetry in terms of language seems well thought out but the language he uses is always simple but never repetitive. He can move feeling that way and that’s a hard thing with such modest verbiage 2.) I like how he breaks up his stanzas. That may be taken for granted, a given for the poet but I am often reading garbage modern poetry where a guy writes a line then two spaces then one word then a space then three lines of a run-on sentence. That’s not a poetic/literary device, that’s just gimmickry.
What I don’t like abut Paz is I don’t think he has a lot to say. I think he has visions in his mind of reliving encounters with other people, women etc. and he compare all those to the usual (nature, space, emotion, geography, weather)but there’s no universality to it….At least none a word Marxist like myself can detect.
Paz is basically like a more calm, less grand Whitman. He is not as anywhere near as explosive or powerful as Walt W. but sees some connections between himself and the object of his desires, between the world and love/lust/desire.
Many consider SUNSTONE his best poem….It really reminds me of Whitman, only more dreamy than thunderous. http://www.mysterium.com/sunstone.html