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Top 100 Octavio Paz Quotes From The Mexican Poet

Octavio Paz is revered in Mexico.

Octavio Paz is a celebrated poet from Mexico whose works resonate with people not just in Mexico, but across the globe.

The author, poet, and diplomat became the first person from Mexico to win a Nobel Prize in 1990. His works on the human condition and human nature are widely celebrated.

Taking stock of his different types of work, Octavio Paz quotes include Octavio Paz quotes on love, Octavio Paz quotes on politics, Octavio Paz quotes about seeing, Octavio Paz quotes on living, Octavio Paz quotes on death, and many more. Octavio Paz poems quotes have become an integral part of Mexican love poems and Mexican love quotes and also famous Mexican quotes. So, read on for more famous poetic quotes and other quotes from this well-known Mexican poet.

For more quotes like these of the poet from Mexico, take a look at Don Miguel Ruiz quotes and Garcia Marquez quotes.

Best Octavio Paz Quotes

Octavio Paz's poems often tell us to surrender to ourselves.

Here you will find some Octavio Paz quotes on being Mexican, Octavio Paz quotes on representation, and quotes about solitude. You will also find some integrity quotes from Octavio Paz.

1. "Man, even man debased by the neo-capitalism and pseudo-socialism of our time, is a marvelous being because he sometimes speaks."

- Octavio Paz.

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

- Octavio Paz.

3. "... the solitude of the Mexican, under the great stone night of the high plateau that is still inhabited by insatiable gods, is very different from that of the North American..."

- Octavio Paz.

4. "There can be no society without poetry, but society can never be realized as poetry, it is never poetic. Sometimes the two terms seek to break apart. They cannot."

- Octavio Paz.

5. "All is visible and all elusive, all is near and can't be touched."

- Octavio Paz.

6. "Only now have I understood that there was a secret relationship between what I have called my expulsion from the present and the writing of poetry."

- Octavio Paz.

7. "I too am written,

and at this very moment

someone spells me out."

- Octavio Paz.

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

- Octavio Paz.

9. "I find myself in the middle of an eye,

watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,

I stay and go: I am a pause."

- Octavio Paz.

10. "Light is time thinking about itself."

- Octavio Paz.

11. "are they nothing at all, the cries of men?

does nothing happen in time but time passing?"

- Octavio Paz.

12. "The Mexican succumbs very easily to sentimental effusions, and therefore he shuns them."

- Octavio Paz.

13. "Social criticism begins with grammar and the reestablishing of meanings."

- Octavio Paz.

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

- Octavio Paz.

15. "I write death and for a moment

I live within it."

- Octavio Paz.

16. "To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears."

- Octavio Paz.

17. "Beyond myself, somewhere, I wait for my arrival."

- Octavio Paz.

18. "Good, we wanted good:

to set the world right.

We didn't lack integrity:

we lacked humility."

- Octavio Paz.

19. "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.

20. "Language is the mark, the sign, not of his fall but of his original innocence."

- Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz 'Labyrinth Of Solitude' Quotes

Here are some quotes from the most celebrated work of the Mexican poet and author.

21. "The Mexican, whether young or old, criollo or mestizo, general or laborer or lawyer, seems to me to be a person who shuts himself away to protect himself."

- Octavio Paz.

22. "The speech of our people reflects the extent to which we protect ourselves from the outside world: the ideal of manliness is never to 'crack', never to back down."

- Octavio Paz.

23. "Perhaps our traditionalism, which is one of the constants of our national character, giving coherence to our people and our history, results from our professed love for Form."

- Octavio Paz.

24. "Lying plays a decisive role in our daily lives, our politics, our love-affairs, and our friendships..."

- Octavio Paz.

25. "Love is an attempt to penetrate another being, but it can only be realized if the surrender is mutual."

- Octavio Paz.

26. "Man is nostalgia and a search for communion. Therefore, when he is aware of himself he is aware of his lack of another, that is, of his solitude."

- Octavio Paz.

27. "To become aware of our history is to become aware of our singularity."

- Octavio Paz.

28. "It might be said that by turning what ought to be a cause for shame into a virtue, we are only trying to relieve our guilt feelings and cover up a cruel reality."

- Octavio Paz.

29. "By means of the fiesta, society frees itself from the norms it has established. It ridicules its gods, its principles, and its laws: it denies its own self."

- Octavio Paz.

30. "Romanticism - which by definition is expansive and open, revealed itself as early as the seventeenth century, that is, before we were even aware of ourselves as a nation."

- Octavio Paz.

31. "The past reappears because it is a hidden present."

- Octavio Paz.

32. "To the people of New York, Paris, or London, 'death' is a word that is never pronounced because it burns the lips."

- Octavio Paz.

33. "Man is the only being who knows he is alone, and the only one who seeks out another."

- Octavio Paz.

34. "Roger Caillois has pointed out that mimicry is not always an attempt to foil the enemies that swarm in the outside world."

- Octavio Paz.

35. "Silence - the prehistoric silence, stronger than all the pyramids and sacrifices, all the churches and uprisings and popular songs - comes back to rule over Mexico."

- Octavio Paz.

36. "Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition."

- Octavio Paz.

37. "The Mexican conceives of love as combat and conquest."

- Octavio Paz.

38. "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."

- Octavio Paz.

39. "Lying is a tragic game in which we risk a part of our very selves. Hence it is pointless to denounce it."

- Octavio Paz.

40. "In his harsh solitude, which is both barbed and courteous, everything serves him as a defense: silence and words, politeness and disdain, irony and resignation."

- Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz Quotes From 'In Light Of India'

Here are Octavio Paz quotes from his time in India as a diplomat.

41. "My superiors had forgotten me, and I secretly thanked them."

- Octavio Paz.

42. "Yes, the excess of reality had become an unreality, but that unreality had turned suddenly into a balcony from which I peered into— what?"

- Octavio Paz.

43. "The demonstrations were instigated not by the old left but by a libertarian spirit, and for this alone it was admirable."

- Octavio Paz.

44. "In those weeks I felt that the hopes of my own youth had been reborn..."

- Octavio Paz.

45. "The Europeans know nothing of geography, and we know nothing of history."

- Octavio Paz.

46. "The tendency toward fragmentation— a permanent aspect of Indian history, and one that the sultans of Delhi continually faced — was especially pronounced during the long decline of the Mughal Empire."

- Octavio Paz.

47. "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."

- Octavio Paz.

48. "It is a model of social organization for a static society: change destroys its nature."

- Octavio Paz.

49. "For modern India, as it is for Mexico, the national project, the future to be realized, implies a critique of the past."

- Octavio Paz.

50. "In Mexico, the pre-Hispanic civilization was destroyed, and what survives are its remnants..."

- Octavio Paz.

51. "Throughout the centuries, the Brahmanic religion produced complex philosophic systems and, above all, two great epic poems, the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyana."

- Octavio Paz.

52. "I must emphasize that the absence of modern critical thinking does not imply the absence of a great literature. Rabindranath Tagore is one example."

- Octavio Paz.

53. "The literature on the Spanish and Portuguese domination is full of somber details and harsh judgments."

- Octavio Paz.

54. "The critique in both countries was and is ambiguous: it is a break with the past and an attempt to salvage it."

- Octavio Paz.

55. "The caste system is ahistorical; its function is to oppose history and its permutations with an immutable reality."

- Octavio Paz.

56. "Similarly, in Christian asceticism, the central concept is redemption; in India, it is liberation."

- Octavio Paz.

57. "In both Mexico and India, there have been intelligent and eloquent defenders of the non-European cultural traditions."

- Octavio Paz.

58. "In short, India’s project of nationhood confronts realities that seem invincible, and it contains a deep contradiction."

- Octavio Paz.

59. "In India, the ancient civilization is a reality that encompasses and permeates all aspects of life."

- Octavio Paz.

60. "The similarity here to Mexico is notable: in both cases we are confronting a project hostile to our own traditions."

- Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz Quotes From 'The Monkey Grammarian'

Scroll through these amazing Octavio Paz quotes from his book 'The Monkey Grammarian'. You will also find some Octavio Paz quotes on writing here.

61. "Painting offers us a vision, literature invites us to seek one and therefore traces an imaginary path toward it."

- Octavio Paz.

62. "To write and to speak are to trace a path: to create, to remember, to imagine a trajectory, to go toward."

- Octavio Paz.

63. "Is it vision that lies at the end of the road?"

- Octavio Paz.

64. "Language is the consequence (or the cause) of our exile from the universe, signifying the distance between things and ourselves."

- Octavio Paz.

65. "...on reaching the state of incandescence, every language reveals itself to be an unintelligible body."

- Octavio Paz.

66. "Poetry is corporeal: the reverse of names."

- Octavio Paz.

67. "Human writing reflects that of the universe, it is its translation, but also its metaphor: it says something totally different and it says the same thing."

- Octavio Paz.

68. "Can reality be the reverse of the fabric, the reverse of metaphor—that which is on the other side of language?"

- Octavio Paz.

69. "Yet these pilgrims knew something that I did not know: the sound of human syllables was simply one more noise amid the other noises of that afternoon."

- Octavio Paz.

70. "I lost myself in the crowd, allowing the human river to carry me along."

- Octavio Paz.

71. "Language has no reverse, no opposite faces, no right or wrong side."

- Octavio Paz.

72. "Even when we are alone, we are always with others; and although we recognize ourselves as unique, we are, as Walt Whitman suggested, a sum of parts: a multitude."

- Octavio Paz.

73. "Every body is a language that vanishes at the moment of absolute plenitude..."

- Octavio Paz.

74. "The word is a disincarnation of the world in search of its meaning; and an incarnation: a destruction of meaning, a return to the body."

- Octavio Paz.

75.  "Language sinks its roots into this world but transforms its juices and reactions into signs and symbols."

- Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz Quotes From 'Marcel Duchamp: Appearance Stripped Bare'

These are some quotes from Octavio Paz's critique of the famous painter Marcel Duchamp.

76. "It is above all the rigorous unity of Marcel Duchamp’s work that surprises anyone reviewing it in its entirety."

- Octavio Paz.

77. "Perhaps the two painters who have had the greatest influence on our century are Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp."

- Octavio Paz.

78. "Duchamp’s inactivity is no less astonishing and, in its way, no less fruitful."

- Octavio Paz.

79. "....painting is a criticism of movement, but movement is the criticism of painting."

- Octavio Paz.

80. "Duchamp space begins to walk and take on form; it becomes a machine that Marcel spins arguments and philosophize..."

- Octavio Paz.

81. "'The Nude' is an anti-machine. The first irony consists in the fact that we don’t even know if there is a nude in the picture."

- Octavio Paz.

82. "Kali is the world of phenomena, the incessant energy of this world..."

- Octavio Paz.

83. "Duchamp has shown us that all the arts, including the visual, are born and come to an end in an area that is invisible."

- Octavio Paz.

84. "Duchamp’s pictures are the presentation of movement: the analysis, the decomposition, the reverse of speed."

- Octavio Paz.

85. "Picasso is what is going to happen and what is happening, he is posterity and archaic time, the distant ancestor and our next-door neighbor."

- Octavio Paz.

Octavio Paz Quotes From 'Sunstone'

Mexico is an important theme for Octavio Paz.

Here are some wonderful lines from the magnificent surrealist poem 'Sunstone' by this celebrated poet from Mexico.

86. "the world changes

if two look at each other and see,

to love is to undress our names..."

- Octavio Paz.

87. "a sudden presence like a burst of song,

like the wind singing in a burning building..."

- Octavio Paz.

88. "I travel my way through galleries of sound,

I flow among echoing presences..."

- Octavio Paz.

89. "my shadow falls from your white forehead,

my shadow shatters, and I gather the pieces

and go with no body..."

- Octavio Paz.

90. "I search without finding, search through a moment..."

- Octavio Paz.

91. "I’ve forgotten your name, Melusina,

Laura, Isabel, Persephone, Mary,

your face is all the faces and none..."

- Octavio Paz.

92. "you are all the hours and none,

you’re a tree and a cloud..."

- Octavio Paz.

93. "there’s nothing in front of me, only a moment

salvaged from a dream tonight of coupled

images dreamed..."

- Octavio Paz.

94. "while time folds its fan shut

and behind its images there’s nothing,

the moment plunges into itself

and floats surrounded by death..."

- Octavio Paz.

95. "I write alone,

there’s no one here, and the day falls,

the year falls, I fall with the moment..."

- Octavio Paz.

96. "I travel your eyes, like the sea,

tigers drink their dreams in those eyes..."

- Octavio Paz.

97. "the doors

that open into an empty room

where all the summers have come to rot..."

- Octavio Paz.

98. "like a mountain path that ends at a cliff

I travel along the edge of your thoughts..."

- Octavio Paz.

99. "I cross transparencies as though I were blind,

a reflection erases me, I’m born in another..."

- Octavio Paz.

100. "to love is to battle, if two kiss

the world changes..."

- Octavio Paz.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Octavio Paz Quotes then why not take a look at Mary Oliver quotes, or poetry quotes.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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