Poetry and Personal Meditation

Poetry is important to me.

When I read poetry, my mind is at peace. I liken it to a form of personal meditation as I find myself quite focused. I am able to be quiet. There are few things in life I do where I can say that. Once during a skiing lesson, my instructor stopped me, held my gaze and simply said ‘Try to keep your body quiet.’ This may sound strange to some, but I knew exactly what he meant and then I proceeded down that mountain unintentionally making a lot of noise. More practice required there.

Thankfully, staying quiet comes quite naturally for me while reading poetry.
I have read a few poems of late by Octavio Paz. In his lecture Poetry and Modernity he speaks of his passion for poetry and expresses “Poetry has been for me not only an everyday task and an invincible affection but also a vice, a fate, and ultimately, a cult, a personal religion.”

I feel his passion in his words. A wonderfully beautiful poem of his worth reading is titled Sunstone – it is quite lengthy and thus I am not including it here, but it is worth seeking out. For now, I would like to share this;

Between going and staying the day wavers,
by Octavio Paz

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.


  1. Hi Janet! Long time no see! I've read one of Octavio Paz's books but it wasn't a poetry book, anyway I like the way he writes a lot.

    Very beautiful poem.
    Good to hear from you again. Take care dear!


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