Poets Corner: Between Going and Staying, by Octavio Paz


Between Going and Staying

(Translated by Eliot Weinberger)

Between going and staying the day wavers, in love with its own transparency. The circular afternoon is now a bay where the world in stillness rocks.

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

Paper, book, pencil, glass, rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall into a ghostly theater of reflections.

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.


Entre irse y quedarse (Original)

Entre irse y quedarse dude el día, enamorado de su transparencia.

La tarde circular es ya bahía: en su quieto vaivén se mece el munco.

Todo es visible y todo es elusivo, todo está cerca y todo es intocable.

Los papeles, el libro, el vaso, el lápiz reposan a la sombra de sus nombres

Latir del tiempo que en mi sien repite la misma terca sílaba de sangre.

La luz hace del muro indiferente un espectral teatro de reflejos.

En el centro de un ojo me descubro; no me mira, me miro en su mirada.

Se disipa el instante. Sin moverme, yo me quedo y me voy: soy una pausa.

Painting Above: "Madonna" by Edvard Munch

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