Poets Walk: "we all walk it"

Poets Walk: "we all walk it"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 6

Passage from Nocturno de San Ildefonso by Octavio Paz

Between seeing and making,

                                                contemplation or action,

I chose the act of words:

                                         to make them, to inhabit them,

to give eyes to the language.

                                               Poetry is not truth:

it is the resurrection of presences,


transfigured in the truth of undated time.


            like history, is made;


like truth, is seen.



of the-sun-on-the-stones in a name,


of the name in the beyond of stones.


              suspension bridge between history and truth,

is not a path toward this and that:

                                                        it is to see

the stillness in motion,


in stillness.

                  History is the path:

it goes nowhere,

                            we all walk it,

truth is to walk it.

                             We neither go nor come:

we are in the hands of time.


to know ourselves,

                                from the beginning,


Brotherhood over the void.

Octavio Paz, excerpt from ""San Ildefonso nocturne"" from Collected Poems 1957-1987. Copyright © 1986 by Octavio Paz and Eliot Weinberger. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.