'Between Going And Staying' by Octavio Paz
AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
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.
Translated by Eliot Weinberger
Submitted by Betty Kieley
Editor 1 Interpretation
Octavio Paz's "Between Going and Staying" is a poem that explores the complexities of human emotions and relationships. The poem is a lyrical meditation on the nature of love and the struggle to balance the desire to leave and the need to stay.
The poem is written in free verse, with no set meter or rhyme scheme. However, Paz's use of imagery and metaphor creates a rhythm that carries the reader through the poem. The language is rich and evocative, conveying a sense of longing and uncertainty that is both universal and deeply personal.
In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will examine the themes of love, desire, and the human condition that are present in "Between Going and Staying." I will also explore the poetic techniques that Paz employs to create a powerful and moving work of art.
Love and Desire
At its core, "Between Going and Staying" is a poem about love and desire. The speaker is torn between the desire to leave and the need to stay with their lover. The opening lines set the tone for the rest of the poem:
Between going and staying the day wavers, in love with its own transparency.
Here, the day is personified as being in love with its own transparency, suggesting that the speaker is similarly obsessed with clarity and honesty in their relationships. However, this transparency is not always easy to achieve. The speaker goes on to describe the difficulty of balancing love and desire:
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.
The circular afternoon represents the cyclical nature of desire, which can be overwhelming and all-consuming. The world is still, yet it rocks with the intensity of the speaker's emotions. The allusiveness and proximity of desire suggest that the object of the speaker's love is both tangible and intangible, both present and absent.
In the second stanza, the speaker describes the struggle of love and desire in more concrete terms:
Paper, book, pencil, ashtray, the clock, the table, the mirror, a knife and fruit are plainly there, nothing has moved. Repetition is a daily mask.
Here, the objects in the room are listed in a simple, straightforward manner. However, their repetition suggests a sense of monotony and routine. The "daily mask" that repetition provides can also be seen as a way of hiding or masking the intensity of the speaker's emotions.
The final stanza of the poem brings these themes to a climax:
The light is leaving the fields and the hills darken The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. One is struck by this tiger even before he leaps.
Here, the tiger represents both desire and danger. The speaker is aware of the danger of giving in to their desires, yet they are still drawn to it. The tiger's leap is inevitable, just as the speaker's surrender to desire is inevitable.
Paz employs several poetic techniques to create the powerful, evocative language of "Between Going and Staying."
One of the most striking is his use of imagery and metaphor. The circular afternoon, the tiger, and the daily mask all serve as powerful symbols of the themes of love and desire in the poem.
Paz also uses repetition to create a sense of rhythm and emphasis. The repeated objects in the room serve as a kind of refrain, highlighting the monotony and routine of the speaker's life.
The poem is written in free verse, but Paz's use of language creates a natural rhythm that carries the reader through the poem. The language is rich and evocative, conveying a sense of longing and uncertainty that is deeply affecting.
"Between Going and Staying" is a powerful meditation on the complexities of human relationships, and the struggle to balance love and desire. The poem is both universal and deeply personal, capturing the intensity of the speaker's emotions in rich, evocative language.
Paz's use of imagery, metaphor, and repetition creates a powerful sense of rhythm and emphasis, carrying the reader through the poem. The final image of the tiger serves as a powerful symbol of the danger and inevitability of desire.
Overall, "Between Going and Staying" is a masterful work of poetry, exploring the depths of human emotion in a way that is both beautiful and haunting.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Between Going and Staying: A Masterpiece of Poetic Ambiguity
Octavio Paz, the Mexican poet and Nobel laureate, is known for his ability to capture the complexities of human experience in his poetry. His poem "Between Going and Staying" is a perfect example of this talent. In this poem, Paz explores the tension between movement and stillness, between action and contemplation, and between life and death. The poem is a masterpiece of poetic ambiguity, inviting the reader to interpret its meaning in multiple ways.
The poem begins with the image of a bird, "a bird with a body of fire," that is caught between two states: "between going and staying." The bird is a powerful symbol of freedom and movement, but it is also a symbol of vulnerability and mortality. The bird's body of fire suggests both its beauty and its fragility. The bird's dilemma, caught between going and staying, is a metaphor for the human condition. We are all caught between the desire for change and the fear of the unknown.
The second stanza of the poem introduces the image of a river, "a river of tigers," that is also caught between two states: "between source and mouth." The river is a symbol of life, but it is also a symbol of death. The river's flow represents the passage of time, but it also represents the inevitability of change. The river's tigers suggest both its power and its danger. The river's dilemma, caught between source and mouth, is a metaphor for the cycle of life and death.
The third stanza of the poem introduces the image of a flame, "a flame in a gust of wind," that is also caught between two states: "between sun and night." The flame is a symbol of passion and creativity, but it is also a symbol of destruction and chaos. The flame's gust of wind suggests both its fragility and its unpredictability. The flame's dilemma, caught between sun and night, is a metaphor for the human struggle between reason and emotion.
The fourth stanza of the poem introduces the image of a tree, "a tree rooted in soil," that is also caught between two states: "between earth and sky." The tree is a symbol of stability and growth, but it is also a symbol of limitation and confinement. The tree's roots suggest both its strength and its dependence. The tree's dilemma, caught between earth and sky, is a metaphor for the human desire for transcendence.
The final stanza of the poem brings all of these images together in a powerful conclusion. The speaker of the poem declares that "life is not a dream," but rather "a ladder / the rungs of which we cannot see." This line suggests that life is a journey, but it is a journey that is full of uncertainty and ambiguity. The ladder is a symbol of progress, but it is also a symbol of risk. The rungs that we cannot see suggest both the mystery and the potential of life.
In conclusion, "Between Going and Staying" is a masterpiece of poetic ambiguity. Octavio Paz uses powerful images and metaphors to explore the tension between movement and stillness, between action and contemplation, and between life and death. The poem invites the reader to interpret its meaning in multiple ways, reflecting the complexity of the human experience. The poem is a reminder that life is a journey full of uncertainty and ambiguity, but it is also a journey full of mystery and potential.
Editor Recommended SitesLearn Python: Learn the python programming language, course by an Ex-Google engineer
Code Commit - Cloud commit tools & IAC operations: Best practice around cloud code commit git ops
Run MutliCloud: Run your business multi cloud for max durability
Rust Software: Applications written in Rust directory
Learn Ansible: Learn ansible tutorials and best practice for cloud infrastructure management
Recommended Similar AnalysisTulips by Sylvia Plath analysis
Song Of Myself by Walt Whitman analysis
Waltzing Matilda by Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson analysis
Quiet Girl by Langston Hughes analysis
Snakecharmer by Sylvia Plath analysis
Nature-the Gentlest Mother is by Emily Dickinson analysis
The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service analysis
Jump Cabling by Linda Pastan analysis
Another Way Of Love by Robert Browning analysis
Epidermal Macabre by Theodore Roethke analysis