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This article is taken from PN Review 41, Volume 11 Number 3, January - February 1985.

Visit to a Poet Octavio Paz

AFTER twenty minutes walking along the highway under a three o'clock sun, I came at last to the turning. I veered right and began to climb the slope. At intervals, the trees along the path provided a little coolness. Water ran down a small brook, through the undergrowth. The sand squeaked under my tread. Sun was everywhere, In the air there was a scent of green, hot growth, thirsty. Not a tree, not a leaf stirred. A few clouds rested heavily, anchored in a blue, waveless gulf. A bird sang. I hesitated: 'How much nicer it would be to stretch out under this elm! The sound of water is worth more than all the poets' words.' I walked on, for another ten minutes. When I got to the farm, some fair-haired children were playing around a birch tree. I asked for the master; without interrupting their game, they replied, He's up there, in the cabin.' And they pointed to the very summit of the hill. I set off again. Now I was walking through deep undergrowth that came up to my knee. When I reached the top I could see the whole little valley; the blue mountains, the stream, the luminously green flatland and, at the very bottom, the forest. The wind began to blow; everything swayed, almost cheerfully. All the leaves sang. I went towards the cabin. It was a little wooden shack, old, the paint flaked, greyed by the years. The windows were curtainless; I made a ...


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