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Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Bryan23 (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 13, 2006 08:17PM

Two Bodies

Two bodies face to face
Are at times two waves
And the night is an ocean.

Two bodies face to face
Are sometimes two stones
And the night a desert.

Two bodies face to face
Are at times two roots
laced into the night.

Two bodies face to face
Are sometimes two knives
And night strikes sparks.

Two bodies face to face
Are two stars falling
In an empty sky.
Octavio Paz

i have no clue what this poem is talking abot please help me out!


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: February 14, 2006 02:23AM

It's about two people and the different attitudes they might have toward each other.

Les


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Desi (Moderator)
Date: February 14, 2006 04:25AM

I was more thinking about sex/intimacy. Because of the night.


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Linda (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 14, 2006 10:33AM

That's more of what it put me in mind of as well. Though a range of actions from full on "phwoar" to "I so do not want to be sharing a bed with this idiot."


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 14, 2006 12:16PM

It is a translation from the original Spanish, an easier job this time, merely needing to duplicate the metaphors from one language to another.

There are two (presumably) lovers, lying face-to-face in a bed (or on a beach, in a meadow, etc.) at night. Sometimes those lovers come together like waves in the ocean. Sometimes they are entwined like roots. Sometimes like other things, as he indicates with the different comparisons.

Here it is in Spanish:

[tinyurl.com] />
Is Dos cuerpos frente a frente, front-to-front, or face-to-face? Probably doesn't matter.



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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: February 14, 2006 12:22PM

I don't think I'd want to be sleeping with someone who brings a blade to bed.


Two bodies face to face
Are sometimes two knives
And night strikes sparks.


Les


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Doug G (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 19, 2006 02:44AM

The poem is delightfully ambigiuos. Is is about love, or intimacy, or just plain sex... or all of them? Pick any combination. I certainly agree paz illustrates the variety of emotion provoked by deep feeling between two intimates.

Even the metaphors allow diverse interpretation. Are the two waves headed toward one another, or are they headed ashore, running parallel, never meeting? Or does that mean they are in perfect symetry, headed to the same destination? I wonder if the image is meant to show attaining some deep togetherness, or forever attemptimg it without success?

I smiled at Les's obserservation about doubting someone who brings a blade to bed. What's the author teasing us with? Could have said "... flint and steel / and night strikes sparkes" and still had that bright light image to go with the falling stars in the next stanza -- sparks with stars. That fighting image was intentional -- and perhaps real, too, in a long (or short!) relationship!

And I think there is a hint of existentialism... two stones in the desert... two stars falling in an empty sky. Images that can be either sad or hopeful depending on your perspective. A rebelious light despite the dark night.

Hugh makes an interesting addition about the translation... front-to-front, or face-to-face, and the Spanish could be translated into either. Don't you think it could make a difference, Hugh? To me, front to front would imply a more "body" image, and I'd take the poem more sensually or perhaps sexually. Face to face would be a more "emotion" image... more person to person, and I'd read the poem with more romantic feeling. I wonder how much time the translator took to pick one over phrase the other, and how they reasoned it out knowing both languages? Even if they were being paid by the word, and not by the hour.

It does matter, though we can never be sure about the fell intent. Meanwhile, the meaning we bring to the poem is certainly worth something by itself.


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: February 20, 2006 01:51PM

front-to-front, or face-to-face

Actually, I looked it up in my Spanish/English dictionary. I got both cara a cara and frente a frente for face to face:

[education.yahoo.com] />
Cara seems to imply more of a face on your head meaning whereas frente is more on the opposite side kind of stuff. So we understand there are two separate bodies that view the world from different directions.


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: February 20, 2006 03:15PM

Desi's take on the physical aspects is probably correct. If he had just meant two "people" face to face, he probably would have used a word like "gente", or "personas" (people, persons), rather than "cuerpos" (bodies).



Les

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2006 03:15PM by lg.


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Veronika (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 01, 2006 07:39PM

Les, thanks so much for the link (palabra virtual).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2006 07:44PM by Veronika.


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: March 02, 2006 03:02AM

Thanks, Veronika, but I'm sure you must mean Hugh's last link.


Les


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 02, 2006 12:10PM

No era mío, pero quizás:

[palabravirtual.com] />


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Re: Two bodies by Octavio paz
Posted by: Veronika (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 02, 2006 06:31PM

My apologies. Thanks to Hugh for the link. I was rather tired yesterday and somehow misattributed the post. It's a wonderful site.


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