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Octavio Paz - Nobel Diploma


If you are the amber mare
               I am the road of blood
If you are the first snow
               I am he who lights the hearth of dawn
If you are the tower of night
               I am the spike burning in your mind
If you are the morning tide
               I am the first bird's cry
If you are the basket of oranges
               I am the knife of the sun
If you are the stone altar
               I am the sacrilegious hand
If you are the sleeping land
               I am the green cane
If you are the wind's leap
               I am the buried fire
If you are the water's mouth
               I am the mouth of moss
If you are the forest of the clouds
               I am the axe that parts it
If you are the profaned city
               I am the rain of consecration
If you are the yellow mountain
               I am the red arms of lichen
If you are the rising sun
               I am the road of blood

"Motion/Movimiento" By Octavio Paz, Translated by Eliot Weinberger, from COLLECTED POEMS 1957-1987, copyright ©1986 by Octavio Paz and Eliot Weinberger.

Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, agents.

Poem selected by Lars Rydquist, head librarian,
Nobel Library of the Swedish Academy .



Octavio Paz
Nobel Lecture
Nobel Diploma