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On the Wing (2) - Octavio Paz - matters_of_importance

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On the Wing (2)
     Octavio Paz (1914 - 1998)
     Gravilla
     Trans. Eliot Wineberger



IN DEFENSE OF PYRRHO
for Julian (Palatine Anthology VII, 576)

Julian, you've cured
my fears, but not my doubts.
Against Pyrrho you said:
The sceptic didn't know
if he was alive or dead.
But death knew.

And you — how do you know?



EPITAPH FOR A DANDY

In a cemetery of neckties
a portrait aflame.
Ignis fatuus.


THE CONSTELLATION OF VIRGO

Hypatia, if I look at the pure lights
there up above, the Virgin's mansion,
I spell out, not words, but stars:
your discourse is clauses of fire.
          (Palladas, Palatine Anthology IX, 400)


ANCIENT LANDSCAPE

High sun. The plain sleeps.
Nothing moves.
Between the rocks, Echo spies.


PROVERB

Mud in a still puddle:
tomorrow dust
dancing in the streets.



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