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Transcript of Octavio Paz
By Samantha Rosette
CSU Expository English
Octavio Paz was born March 31st, 1914 and died April 19th, 1998 in Mexico City, Mexico
Paz was a Hispanic, Roman Catholic which had a lot of influence on hi poetry.
His grandfather and father were greatly involved in politics which led Paz to also take part in Mexico's politics.
About the Poet
Since Paz was exposed to literature at a very young age, he also began to write at a young age.
Octavio Paz's Childhood
His father, Octavio Paz Solorzano, was an efficacious part of against battling the Revolution against the Diaz regime.
Ireneo Paz, Octavio's paternal grandfather, was a novelist, publisher, and former supporter of President Porfirio Diaz.
Octavio Paz's grandfather had an extensive collection of classic Mexican and European Literature which introduced him to literature.
Spanish writers, Gerardo Diego, Juan Ramon Jimenez, and Antonio Machado had a massive influence on Paz during his first writings.
Paz's writngs are influence by Buddhism, existentialism, Hinduism, Marxism, and surrealism.
More About the Poet
Paz lived from 1914 - 1998 and during that time, Mexico was going through a lot politically which affected Paz a lot.
Paz and his family supported Emiliano Zapata during the Mexican Revolution which impacted his writing.
Having a family involved in politics cause Paz to have to pick up his life and move it to America to be safe which caused a lot of turmoil for him.
As a Mexican writer, Paz wrote in an American style which was influenced by him living in America.
Knowing about Octavio Paz's life and influences help readers know why his writing is a certain way and what the meaning behind them might be.
Paz is considered one of the finest writers and was translated by many people such as Samuel Beckett, Elizabeth Bishop and Muriel Rukeyser.
Frente Al Mar
Lueve en el mar;
al mar lo que es del mar
y que se seque la heredad.
¿La ola no tiene forma?
En un instante se esculpe
y en otro se desmorona
en la que emerge, redonda.
Su movimiento es su forma
Las olas se retiran
-ancas, espaldas, nucas-
pero vuelven las olas
-pechos, bocas, espumas-.
Muere de sed el mar.
Se retuerce, sin nadie,
en su lecho de rocas.
Muere de sed de aire.
Difficult Words and Phrases
This is one of Octavio's poems that doesn't have any difficult words but the entire poem as one symbolizes something else
In "Frente al Mar", Octavio Paz writes about the ocean's waves. Each wave comes in and goes out without anything helping it.
The last stanza is about how the sea is dying of thirst and the rocky coastal wants air..
The speaker in "Frente al Mar" is someone who feels all alone in a place full of people. This is a person who want more than what they have but cannot get a hold of that thing they want.
Paz could of written this poem from his feelings of being an amazing writer but still needing more to fill the void in his heart.
The speaker is speaking to people who feel the same way. There are many people who feel all alone in a world full of people.
Octavio Paz is an incredible writer whose poems can relate to many people in different ways.
"Frente al Mar" is set on a beach on a rocky coast of Mexico.
The speaker is looking at the waves and wondering how the waves can keep going when they are all alone.
Although it may seem like this is a poem just about a beach and the waves, it is filled with meaning.
There are very few writers like Paz that can take such a simple topic and make it something that many people can relate to.
The message behind "Frente al Mar" is that someone can be surrounded by many people but still feel all alone. The sea is made of water but it is still thirsty. Although people might think you are happy and fullfilled, anyone can still want more from their life.
This poem has a very sad tone. The fact that being with people but still be alone is a scary thing for everyone. The fact that one day there will be no one is something that no one wants to believe will ever happen.
Octavio Paz's diction doesn't have significance to the poem. The entire poem is filled with poetic words such as "on its rocky coastal shelf." Each word in this line has a different connotation. Rocky has a mean connotation while coastal gives a connotation of freedom and air.
The rhythm pattern in this poem is the same for the first two stanza and then changes in the last one.
The first two stanzas rhyme at the last to lines. The last stanza rhymes at the second and third line.
For the Spanish version of "Frente al Mar", the last three lines of the first two stanzas rhyme while the last three lines of the last stanza rhymes.
The sea is a metaphor for people and their loneliness.
In the Spanish version "ancas, espaldas, nucas" is alliteration.
The sea symbolizes people while the waves symbolizes the fact that people have to go on without any help.
"Dying of thirst the sea." symbolizes that people can be alone when they physically are not.
This poem reminded me of the typical movie when the new kid is shy and is surrounded by people but still feels all alone.
One book that I thought of while doing this project was Looking for Alaska by John Green. Alaska is a girl who is very smart and beautiful. Although everyone believes she is happy, one night she goes out and commits suicide.
This poem made me feel sad knowing that someone I am very close with could be feeling like this right now.
It also makes me want to let everyone I know that I love them and will always be there for them.
No one should every have to feel alone or that there is no one they can count on.
Barral, Seix. "FRENTE AL MAR." FRENTE AL MAR. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
Octavio Paz. (2013). The Famous People website. Retrieved 01:21, Dec 14, 2013, from http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/octavio-paz-174.php.
"Octavio Paz." Octavio Paz. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013
"Octavio Paz - Biographical." Octavio Paz - Biographical. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
Does the wave have no shape?
It builds up one instant
and the next one, collapses
from which it emerges, round.
Its form in its motions found.
The waves first go back
limbs, backsides, necks?
then the waves go forth
breasts, mouths froth?
Dying of thirst the sea.
It twists and turns, by itself,
on its rocky coastal shelf.
It dies thirsting for air.