It's been a long time since I read any Octavio Paz and the last time was when I mused over The Double Flame, a series of essays on the nature of love and eroticism. However, by chance I met with a Paz poem this evening and in the hope that the Gods of Copyright are in a benign mood or maybe even that this particular poem is free for the edificaton of all, I hereby reproduce it.
Here is a long and silent street.
I walk in blackness and I stumble and fall
and rise, and I walk, my blind feet
trampling the silent stones and the dry leaves.
Someone behind me also tramples stones, leaves;
if I slow down, he slows;
if I run, he runs. I turn: nobody.
Everything dark and doorless,
only my steps aware of me,
turning and turning among these corners
which lead forever to the street
where nobody waits for, nobody follows me,
where I pursue a man who stumbles
and rises and says when he sees me: nobody.
[Translated by Muriel Rukeyser]