The Mexican...is familiar with death. [He] jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it. It is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love.

— Octavio Paz

The most heartwarming Octavio Paz quotes that will activate your inner potential

Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone.

121

The supreme value is not the future but the present.

The future is a deceitful time that always says to us, 'Not Yet,' and thus denies us... Whoever builds a house for future happiness builds a prison for the present.

81

A flower without a stem, is beauty waiting to die. A heart without love, is a tear waiting to cry.

77

Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two.

72

Love is not a desire for beauty; it is a yearning for completion.

72

Technology is not an image of the world but a way of operating on reality.

The nihilism of technology lies not only in the fact that it is the most perfect expression of the will to power... but also in the fact that it lacks meaning.

65

A civilization that denies death ends by denying life.

65

Whatever is not stone is light

64

Today we all speak, if not the same tongue, the same universal language.

There is no one center, and time has lost its former coherence: East and West, yesterday and tomorrow exist as a confused jumble in each one of us. Different times and different spaces are combined in a here and now that is everywhere at once.

50

A glass pitcher, a wicker basket, a tunic of coarse cloth.

Their beauty is inseparable from their function. Handicrafts belong to a world existing before the separation of the useful and the beautiful.

41

The American: a titan enamored of progress, a fanatical giant who worships "getting things done" but never asks himself what he is doing nor why he is doing it.

41

What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism.

26

About Octavio Paz

Quotes 99 sayings
Nationality Mexican
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16

Because two bodies, naked and entwined, leap over time, they are invulnerable, nothing can touch them, they return to the source. There is no you, no I, no tomorrow, no yesterday, no names, the truth of two in a single body, a single soul, oh total being.

22

Love is born at first sight; the friendship of a frequent and lengthy exchange.

22

Beyond happiness or unhappiness, though it is both things, love is intensity;

it does not give us eternity but life, that second in which the doors of time and space open just a crack: here is there and now is always.

21

It is always difficult to give oneself up;

few persons anywhere ever succeed in doing so, and even fewer transcend the possessive stage to know love for what it actually is: a perpetual discovery, and immersion in the waters of reality, an unending re-creation.

20

Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake.

But this wide-awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeated in the mirrors of reason.

15

The purpose of poetry is to restore to mankind the possibility to wonder.

15

Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers... What we call art is a game.

15

Self-discovery is above all the realization that we are alone.

12

If each of my words were a drop of water, you would see through them and glimpse what I feel: gratitude, acknowledgement.

11

We are condemned to kill time, thus we die bit by bit.

10

Cubism had been an analysis of the object and an attempt to put it before us in its totality; both as analysis and as synthesis, it was a criticism of appearance. Surrealism transmuted the object, and suddenly a canvas became an apparition: a new figuration, a real transfiguration.

10

Without democracy freedom is a chimera

10

Poet: gardener of epitaphs.

9

Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.

8

Mineral cactai, quicksilver lizards in the adobe walls, the bird that punctures space, thirst, tedium, clouds of dust, impalpable epiphanies of wind. The pines taught me to talk to myself. In that garden I learnedto send myself off. Later there were no gardens.

8

Tradition is no longer a continuity but a series of sharp breaks.

The modern tradition is the tradition of revolt.

8

Revolt is the violence of an entire people;

rebellion the unruliness of an individual or an uprising by a minority; both are spontaneous and blind. Revolution is both planned and spontaneous, a science and an art.

8

Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.

7

Ruy-Sanchez's works of fiction are always amazing: adventure, poetry and intelligence in a new geometry of words... His writing has nerve and agility, his intelligence is sharp without being cruel, his mood is sympathetic without complicity.

7

If society abolishes poetry it commits spiritual suicide.

5

If we are a metaphor of the universe, the human couple is the metaphor par excellence, the point of intersection of all forces and the seed of all forms. The couple is time recaptured, the return to the time before time.

5

Man does not speak because he thinks;

he thinks because he speaks. Or rather, speaking is no different than thinking: to speak is to think.

5

Eroticism is first and foremost a thirst for otherness.

And the supernatural is the supreme otherness. This is perhaps the most noble aim of poetry, to attach ourselves to the world around us, to turn desire into love, to embrace, finally what always evades us, what is beyond, but what is always there – the unspoken, the spirit, the soul.

4

There is nothing sacred or untouchable except the freedom to think.

Without criticism, that is to say, without rigor and experimentation, there is no science, without criticism there is no art or literature. I would also say that without criticism there is no healthy society.

4

The woman who died night after night and her dying was a long goodbye, a train that never left.

4

Writers, you know, are the beggars of Western society.

4

Reality is a staircase going neither up nor down, we don't move; today is today, always is today.

4

Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. But the contrary is also true: language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.

4

What characterizes a poem is its necessary dependence on words as much as its struggle to transcend them.

3

It is the Revolution, the magical word, the word that is going to change everything, that is going to bring us immense delight and a quick death.

3

Images, memories, fragmentary shapes and forms all those sensations, visions, half-thoughts that appear and disappear in the wink of an eye, as one sets forth to meet.... The path also disappears as I think of it, as I say it.

3

Surrealism is not a school of poetry but a movement of liberation.

.. A way of rediscovering the language of innocence, a renewal of the primordial pact, poetry is the basic text, the foundation of the human order. Surrealism is revolutionary because it is a return to the beginning of all beginnings.

3

I sat at the foot of a huge tree, a statue of the night, and tried to make an inventory of all I had seen, heard, smelled, and felt: dizziness, horror, stupor, astonishment, joy, enthusiasm, nausea, inescapable attraction. What had attracted me? It was difficult to say: Human kind cannot bear much reality.

3

The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us

3

Changes are inseparable from democracy.

To defend democracy is to defend the possibility of change; in turn, changes alone can strengthen democracy.

2

Erotic acts are instinctive; they fulfill a role in nature. The idea is familiar, but it is one that contains a paradox: there is nothing more natural than sexual desire; there is nothing less natural than the forms in which it is made manifest and satisfied.

2

Art is what remains of religion: the dance above the yawning abyss.

2
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